DEA Los Angeles announces new opioid and overdose prevention efforts as part of DEA 360 Strategy
LOS ANGELES – As the greater Los Angeles area continues to be hamstrung by an opioid epidemic that has seen approximately 500 overdose deaths this year, the DEA in Los Angeles has announced a new comprehensive opioid strategy. At a press conference on Dec. 18, 2018, the DEA in Los Angeles has announced that Los Angeles has been designated as a pilot 360 opioid strategy city. The 360 opioid strategy is a new and innovative way for the DEA to continue to lead the fight against opioid addiction and overdose deaths in greater Los Angeles. DEA agents in Los Angeles will be teaming with community stakeholders such as the U.S. Attorney’s Office, local and state law enforcement, health care providers, clergy, medical professionals, educators, rehabilitation centers, and other community leaders to jointly fight the scourge of opioids.
As a pilot 360 opioid strategy city, the DEA will be expending a large amount of resources to battle opioids. Nevertheless, the DEA cannot win this battle alone. The 360 strategy will team the DEA up with community stakeholders as part of a comprehensive three-prong approach, involving (1) a coordinated law enforcement operation targeting all levels of drug trafficking organizations and violent gangs supplying drugs to our neighborhoods; (2) engaging drug manufacturers, wholesalers, practitioners, and pharmacists through Diversion Control to increase awareness of the opioid epidemic and encourage responsible prescribing practices, and use of opioid painkillers throughout the medical community; and, (3) community outreach and partnership with local organizations following enforcement operations, equipping and empowering communities to fight the opioid epidemic
Also as part of the strategy, DEA Special Agent in Charge David J. Downing has announced the formation of the Fusion Task Force, which is part of the Los Angeles High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, or “HIDTA.” The HIDTA Fusion Task Force is under the direction of a federally deputized Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department ASAC, a DEA supervisor, and combines the talents of law enforcement officers from DEA, LA Sheriff, LA Police Department, as well as other federal agencies. What makes Fusion unique is that diversion investigators and intelligence analysts sit in the group, working alongside law enforcement officers every day. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has also assigned a prosecutor to evaluate the merits of each case that the Fusion Task Force works. Through an agreement with the LA Sheriff’s Department, members of Fusion have undergone specialized homicide training and respond to death investigations where opioids are the suspected cause of death.
The public is encouraged to visit https://www.dea.gov/360-strategy, check DEA Los Angeles Twitter feed @DEALOSANGELES or call (213) 621-6700 for additional information.