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DEA announces “360 Strategy” in southern New Jersey to address heroin, prescription opioids, violent crime

(CAMDEN, N.J.) –The United States Drug Enforcement Administration today announced that southern New Jersey has been designated as part of a comprehensive law enforcement, diversion control, and prevention effort called the “360 Strategy” to help cities dealing with the heroin and prescription drug abuse epidemic, and its associated violent crime. DEA New Jersey Division Special Agent-in-Charge Valerie A. Nickerson made the announcement today with representative of other organizations in the law enforcement, medical, education and faith based fields along with substance abuse prevention and treatment experts.

 

Valerie A. Nickerson, the Special Agent in Charge of the New Jersey Division of the DEA, speaks  about the 360 Strategy, January 9, 2018

 

“New Jersey is facing a heroin and prescription opioid abuse epidemic like we have never seen before.  The DEA 360 Strategy aims to bring together the expertise of law enforcement, the medical community, drug prevention and treatment partners, and other experts to address this problem that is wreaking havoc across our state,” said Nickerson.

The DEA 360 Strategy will concentrate in Mercer, Ocean, Burlington, Camden, Atlantic, Gloucester, Salem, Cumberland, and Cape May counties in New Jersey, and is comprised of a three-pronged approach to fighting drug trafficking and stemming abuse:

  • Enforcement – coordinated actions against drug cartels and heroin traffickers in specific communities;
  • Diversion Control  - enforcement actions against DEA registrants operating outside the law and long-term engagement with pharmaceutical drug manufacturers, wholesalers, pharmacies, and practitioners; and
  • 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.

“Enforcement has been and always will be the backbone of what DEA does,” Nickerson said. “We know that this is a problem that cannot be addressed by law enforcement alone. It is by working together with all of our partners in the law enforcement, education, prevention, treatment, and medical communities, among others, that we can have the greatest impact.”

In the near future, DEA and its partners plan to host a youth summit for New Jersey students to educate young Americans on efforts to address drug misuse and abuse that are sustainable and will have the greatest impact.

DEA has also partnered with national organizations that have a local reach: U.S. Attorney’s Office, Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), DEA Educational Foundation, Discovery Education – Operation Prevention, and the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.


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