DOJ SEAL
U.S. DEPARTMENT of JUSTICE CONTACT US A-Z INDEX
About » Office Locations » Denver Division » Denver Division News
DENVER NEWS

DEA announces “360 Strategy” in Utah to address opioid epidemic and violent crime
Program serves as a model for communities struggling with drug trafficking, drug abuse and drug-related violence

(WASHINGTON) – The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced today that Utah will be the next location chosen to take part in a comprehensive law enforcement and prevention “360 Strategy” to assist cities dealing with the heroin and prescription drug abuse epidemic.

Assistant Special Agent in Charge Brian Besser addresses the opening of DEA’s 360 Strategy in Utah at the Boys and Girls Club of Salt Lake City. Participating agencies from Utah State and Local governments participate in the opening ceremonies. In order from left to right are: Shweta Adyanthaya, Director for Communications and Marketing at CADCA; Vernon Stejskal, Chief of the Violent Crime Prosecution Section of the United States Attorney’s Office; Jennifer Plumb, Md., MPH, Medical Director of Utah Naloxone; Sean Reyes, Utah Attorney General; Brian Besser, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, DEA Denver Division; Greg Hughes, Speaker of the Utah House of Representatives; Randy Thomas, Deputy Director, SLC Metro Narcotics Task Force; LeAnn Saldivar, CEO Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Salt Lake.
Assistant Special Agent in Charge Brian Besser addresses the opening of DEA’s 360 Strategy in Utah at the Boys and Girls Club of Salt Lake City. Participating agencies from Utah State and Local governments participate in the opening ceremonies. In order from left to right are: Shweta Adyanthaya, Director for Communications and Marketing at CADCA; Vernon Stejskal, Chief of the Violent Crime Prosecution Section of the United States Attorney’s Office; Jennifer Plumb, Md., MPH, Medical Director of Utah Naloxone; Sean Reyes, Utah Attorney General; Brian Besser, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, DEA Denver Division; Greg Hughes, Speaker of the Utah House of Representatives; Randy Thomas, Deputy Director, SLC Metro Narcotics Task Force; LeAnn Saldivar, CEO Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Salt Lake.

Brian Besser, DEA’s Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Denver Division, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, Speaker of the Utah House of Representatives Greg Hughes, and Vernon Stejskal, Chief of the Violent Crime Prosecution Section of the United States Attorney’s Office, are just a few of the people who joined together and announced this strategy today.  Joining in the announcement were Keith Squires, Commissioner of the Utah Department of Public Safety; Dr. Jennifer Plumb, Medical Director for Utah Naloxone; Shweta Adyanthaya, Director of Communications and Marketing for the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA); CEO LeAnn Saldivar of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Salt Lake, and several other organizations involved in the local law enforcement, medical, and substance abuse prevention and treatment communities.

“The burgeoning heroin and opioid epidemic sweeping across the state is claiming the lives of over 30 Utahan’s per month – the devastation and loss of human life experienced by families within our local communities is utterly overwhelming,” said Besser.  “Utah needs a comprehensive and holistic approach to address this deadly plague and the answer is found within grass-roots coalitions formed between law enforcement, the medical, treatment, and recovery communities to collectively share resources and attack the problem in unison.”
The DEA 360 Strategy comprises a three-fold approach to fighting drug traffickers and the current opioid abuse epidemic:

  • Enforcement – Law enforcement working together to target drug trafficking organizations supplying heroin and opioids throughout Utah.  These cooperative efforts will include a strategy to specifically address those individuals who supply opioids resulting in fatal and non-fatal overdoses. 
  • Pharmaceutical Diversion Control – Through engagement with drug manufacturers, wholesalers, physicians and pharmacists we will increase awareness of the heroin and prescription drug problem while pushing for responsible prescribing practices of these medications throughout the medical community.
  • Community Outreach – By partnering with medical professionals, government and community service organizations and community coalitions we plan to proactively educate the public of the dangers of prescription drug and heroin abuse, as well as guide individuals to treatment services when needed.  We want people to know that addiction does not have to be the end; treatment and recovery can be effective.   

“While law enforcement plays a central role in the 360 Strategy, enforcement actions alone are not enough to make lasting change within our communities,” Besser said. “DEA is not solely an enforcement organization… we seek to work in a holistic manner to protect, but also to educate and empower our communities that are struggling with problems of abuse.” 
Officials will work to form a community alliance that will comprise key leaders from law enforcement, prevention, treatment, the judicial system, education, business, government, civic organizations, faith communities, media, and social services, to form the foundation of a long-term group that will help carry the prevention and treatment messages throughout Utah.   
By bringing together experts in substance abuse and prevention, the DEA 360 Strategy aims, in part, to address the opioid and heroin threat posed to the community by focusing on providing resources and programs designed to educate our youth and those most influential to youth including; parents, caregivers, and educators to the harms of drug abuse.
“In summary, our over-arching goal with DEA 360 is to bring all of these equally important components together, to create new synergies, new partnerships, and new awareness… so that we can effectively change the public’s perception, attitudes, and behavior,” Besser added.  “In doing so we can help turn the tide on this deadly opioid epidemic and the devastating carnage it brings to the great State of Utah.”
                                                                           
DEA first rolled out the 360 Strategy in Pittsburgh, in November of 2015.  Since that time, DEA has deployed the strategy in eight other pilot cities; Utah will be the ninth. This three-pronged approach is also being deployed in all DEA Field Divisions.

National Partners with Local Reach: 
Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, DEA Educational Foundation, Discovery Education – Operation Prevention, DOJ – Violence Reduction Network, HHS - Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, U.S. Attorney’s Office, The Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation, and the Young Marines. 


STAY CONNECTED

Receive E-mail Updates Receive E-mail Updates @DEAHQ Twitter Account button Hover @DEAHQ Twitter Account button Report Synthetic Drug Source button Hover Report Synthetic Drug Source button


Stay Connected Facebook Twitter YouTube

 

A-Z Index  Accessibility   Contact Us  Environmental Stewardship   FOIA  Legal Policies & Disclaimers  
No FEAR Act   Privacy Policy Plug-Ins USA.gov Whistleblower Protection