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DEA Announces “360 Strategy” in Charleston to Huntington, West Virginia Tri-County Area
This program helps communities fight the cycle of drug trafficking and violence, particularly related to heroin and prescription drug abuse

FEB 15 (CHARLESTON, W.Va.) – DEA announced today that the cities of Charleston and Huntington and the surrounding Tri-County areas will be the next region to be part of a comprehensive law enforcement and prevention initiative called the 360 Strategy. This program is designed to help cities and surrounding regions deal with the heroin and prescription drug abuse epidemic and the violent crime associated with it.

The 360 Strategy focuses on integrating law enforcement, diversion control, education and prevention with community outreach. DEA Washington Field Division Special Agent-in-Charge Karl C. Colder announced this strategy to the public today alongside political and community leaders; local and federal law enforcement; and both education and medical professionals from the Charleston to Huntington Tri-county areas.

“The communities in West Virginia have been and continue to be among the hardest hit by the heroin and opioid epidemic. The DEA 360 Strategy is a framework for introducing a comprehensive and sustained multi-layered approach to attack this epidemic. By bringing together all the resources of our local, state, and federal partners, we look to loosen the hold this epidemic and illicit drug trafficking organizations have on the Tri-County area,” Colder said.

The DEA 360 Strategy is a three-fold approach to fighting drug trafficking and stemming abuse. It is designed to:

  • Change attitudes through community outreach: By partnering with medical professionals, Departments of Education, governmental and community service organizations we will proactively educate the public about the dangers of prescription drug misuse and heroin abuse; guide individuals to treatment services when needed; and equip and empower communities with tools to fight the heroin and prescription drug epidemic.
  • Have a long lasting impact through diversion control: Through engagement with drug manufacturers, wholesalers, practitioners, and pharmacists we will increase awareness of the prescription drug and related heroin problem, and push for responsible prescribing and use of these medications.
  • Provide DEA leadership: With coordinated DEA enforcement actions targeting all levels of drug trafficking organizations and violent gangs supplying drugs in our neighborhoods, as we have been doing with ongoing law enforcement operations.

The 360 Strategy brings together experts in substance abuse and prevention to work with four key groups of citizens: parents and caregivers in the home; educators and students in the classroom; after-school organizations such as the Boys & Girls Clubs and athletic associations; and in workplaces around the region. By engaging in dialogue, providing information and resources, and helping erase the stigma of addiction, we can educate young people and others about the consequences of misuse of prescription painkillers and abuse of heroin.

Soon, DEA and its partners also plan to host a “Call To Action” forum in the region which will bring community leaders together to look for ways to conquer drug misuse and abuse, addiction, and trafficking that will have a sustainable impact, and ease the emotional toll on the community.

Our partners include:

U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of West Virginia
Senator Manchin and Senator Capito’s Offices
Governor Jim Justice’s Office
Kanawha Communities that Care
Putnam Wellness Coalition
United Way River Cities Coalition
Regional Family Resources Network
Prestera
West Virginia State Police and WV Center for Children’s Justice
West Virginia Department of Public Health
Charleston Police Department, Fire Department and EMS
University of Charleston School of Pharmacy
Fruth Pharmacy
Kanawha Board of Education
Huntington Mayor’s Office
Huntington Police Department
Cabell County Sheriff’s Office
Appalachian HIDTA
National Guard Counter Drug Program / WVNG
ASM Research / WVARNG
Cabell County Health Department
Department of Justice Violence Reduction Network (VRN)
Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA)
DEA Youth Dance Program
Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks
US Department of Health & Humans Services
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
White House Office of National Drug Control Policy
Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
Centers for Disease Control
…and many others who have joined and will continue to join this important initiative.

“The cities in the Tri-County area know better than anyone else the toll this epidemic extracts from their communities,” said Special Agent-in-Charge Colder. “DEA’s 360 Degree Strategy recognizes the need for us to be successful, to work together, and to utilize every community resource that is available to us so we can break the cycle of drug trafficking, addiction, and violence.”

>> Media Advisory - 360 Announcement


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