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Our nation is in the midst of an opioid addiction crisis. As a response, the DEA 360 Strategy takes an innovative three-pronged approach to combating heroin/opioid use through law enforcement, diversion control and community outreach.

Prevent Prescription Drug and Heroin Abuse



Pittsburgh 360 PSA (2016)

551 Drug-related overdose deaths last year in Pittsburgh Allegheny, Butler, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties. Source: Pennsylvania Medical Examiners, Coroners, and DEA (2014—2015). Data as of January 6, 2016. Watch.

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Classroom Resources for Educators

The DEA and Discovery Education have teamed up to launch Operation Prevention, a program geared towards fighting opioid misuse among young people. Their site includes interactive K-12 lessons, virtual field trips, resources for parents and more. Go to Operation Prevention's website.

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How Much Do You Know?

Test your knowledge about opioids by taking this quiz.


The Problem

High levels of Controlled Prescription Drug (CPD) abuse are contributing to increased heroin use.

Increased demand for, and use of, heroin is being driven by both increasing availability of heroin in the U.S. market and by some controlled prescription drug (CPD) abusers using heroin.  After the 2010 reformulation of the commonly abused prescription opioid OxyContin®, which made it difficult to inhale or inject, some people who abused OxyContin® migrated to heroin for access to a potent injectable drug. This phenomenon is contributing to the increase in heroin use in the United States.

1. (U) U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, DEA Intelligence Report, National Heroin Threat Assessment Summary; April 2015. 





    • The vast majority of teens do not use heroin. In a 2018 national survey, only 0.4% of 12th graders used heroin in the past year.[1] 
    • 96.4 percent of 12th graders disapprove of taking heroin occasionally.[1]
    • About 165,000 young people between 18 to 25 reported having a heroin use disorder in the past year.[2]


    • Prescription opioid analgesics, specifically those containing oxycodone and hydrocodone, are the most common types of prescription drugs that are diverted for misuse and abused.
    • Each day in the United States, over 192 people die as a result of a drug overdose.[3] 
    • In 2017, an estimated 3.2 million people (aged 12 or older) reported current misuse of pain relievers.[4]  
    • 53% of nonmedical users (12 years or older) reported receiving the prescription drugs they most recently used “from a friend or relative for free.”[5] 
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    • Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 80-100 times stronger than morphine.
    • Drug deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone (which includes fentanyl) increased almost 47% from 2016 to 2017.[6]
    young heroin user


    Explore common misconceptions about opioids through the voices of teens. Go to Operation Prevention.

    1 Source: University of Michigan, 2018 Monitoring the Future Study. View source here.

    2 Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, September 2018.  View source here.

    3 Source: Drug and Opioid-Involved Overdose Deaths — United States, 2013–2017. View source here.

    4 Source: Prescription Drug Use and Misuse in the United States: Results from the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, September 2018.  View source here.

    5 Source: Rudd RA, Seth P, David F, Scholl L. Increases in Drug and Opioid-Involved Overdose Deaths — United States, 2010–2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. ePub: 16 December 2016. View source here.

    6 Source: “Fentanyl: Illicitly-made fentanyl use is on the rise." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. View source here.


    I used to picture an addict as someone under a bridge with a needle in his arm. The end of addiction might look that way, but it sure doesn’t begin like that. I never pictured myself as a drug addict until I became one as a teenager. Read more.

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    Find Treatment

    More people seek treatment for heroin use than for any other illicit drug, except marijuana.

    The decline in the number of treatment admissions to publicly funded facilities for abuse of controlled prescription drugs (CPD) can likely be attributed to the increase of (CPD) abusers using heroin. Many abusers, when unable to obtain or afford CPDs, begin using heroin, a cheaper alternative that offers similar physiological effects.

    Medications are available to treat heroin addiction while reducing drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms, improving the odds of achieving abstinence. There are now a variety of medications that can be tailored to a person’s recovery needs while taking into account co-occurring health conditions.  

    Source: National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), Research Report Series:  Heroin, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services | National Institutes of Health


    Find substance abuse treatment facilities in your area.  

    Get involved!  Join a coalition or volunteer with a partnering organization. 

    Local/State Partners

    Allegheny County Office of the Medical Examiner

    This office investigates cases of homicide, suicide, accidental deaths, and all natural deaths that are sudden, unexpected or medically unattended. In addition, our state-of-the-art forensic laboratories apply current scientific methods for evidence analysis and investigations to effectively assist law enforcement, the judicial court systems, and health and environmental agencies.

    Allegheny County Department of Public Health

    The department's mission is to protect, promote, and preserve the health and well-being of all Allegheny County residents, particularly the most vulnerable. We strive daily to assure quality public health services to more than 1.2 million county residents.

    Allegheny County Police Department

    Our motto, “To Serve with Honor,” guides county police officers every day as we serve residents and visitors alike. Our patrol territories include the Pittsburgh International Airport, the County Airport, nine County Parks and other regional parks. We investigate all criminal activity which occurs on county-owned property, while providing assistance to local police departments and criminal justice agencies.

    Allegheny Intermediate Unit

    The Allegheny Intermediate Unit, also known as the AIU, is a regional public education agency and a crucial part of Pennsylvania's public education system.

    Beaver County Behavioral Health, Drug and Alcohol Program

    The Treatment Alternative Program provides drug and alcohol assessments, case management and referral to community-based treatment facilities for offenders as an alternative to incarceration.

    Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks

    Elks invest in their communities through programs that help children grow up healthy and drug-free, meet the needs of today’s veterans, and improve the quality of life.

    Boys and Girls Club of Pittsburgh

    Mission: To enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.

    Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh

    Regionally, nationally, and globally, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh is a leader in the treatment of childhood conditions and diseases, a pioneer in the development of new and improved therapies, and a top educator of the next generation of pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists.

    DEA Youth Dance Program

    The DEA Youth Dance Program was established to empower kids by providing a free and positive afterschool alternative to drugs through the fun, healthy, and expressive art form of dance.

    Duquesne University – Mylan School of Pharmacy

    Since opening in 1925, the Duquesne University School of Pharmacy continually earns recognition as a top school of pharmacy in the United States because of outstanding academic programs, hands-on training, and nationally recognized research and leadership.

    FBI Pittsburgh Office (Community Outreach)

    The FBI’s Community Outreach Program supports the Bureau’s investigative mission by working to address multiple interrelated societal problems—including crime, drugs, gangs, terrorism, and violence.

    Gateway Rehabilitation

    Gateway Rehab has been providing proven and personalized services in and around the Pittsburgh area, to individuals struggling with addictive diseases for many decades.

    Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

    The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation.

    Keystone Wellness Programs

    Keystone Wellness Programs is dedicated to the promotion, coordination, and delivery of community programs and services to improve physical and behavioral well-being.

    Partnership for Drug-Free Kids

    Drug-Free Kids is committed to helping families struggling with their son’s or daughter’s substance use.

    Pennsylvania Board of Probation & Parole

    Inherent in the Board's mission to protect public safety is its work to reduce the likelihood that a parolee will commit another crime after release and return to prison. 

    Pittsburgh Poison Center

    Staffed 24 hours a day, the Pittsburgh Poison Center (PPC) responds each year to more than 100,000 requests for poison information from the general public and medical professionals who reside in 44 Pennsylvania counties. 

    Pittsburgh Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania    

    Pittsburgh Boys and Girls Clubs have nine facilities in the Pittsburgh area.  Boys and Girls Clubs of Western PA promote academic success, healthy lifestyles, good character and citizenship.  They offer Educational Training, Career Launch, Arts and Crafts, Dance, Digital Arts Programs, Imagemakers Photography Program, Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention Programs, Smoking Prevention, Fresh Start Juvenile Justice Programs, Youth Violence Prevention Programs, Sports and Fitness, Summer Day Camps, Evening Teen Programs, Teen Entrepreneurship.  We are in the process of launching an integrated website.  

    Not One More - Pittsburgh Chapter

    Not One More Pittsburgh (NOM) brings communities together to take action against the addiction crisis. 

    Office of the Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

    The Attorney General is Pennsylvania’s top law enforcement official, with a wide range of responsibilities to protect and serve the citizens and agencies of the Commonwealth.

    Saltworks Theater Company

    Saltworks Theater Company is a local performing company based in Pittsburgh, PA .   Saltworks Theatre Company produced “Off-Script”, a play regarding the misuse of prescription drugs that is often overlooked.  “Off-Script” follows the life styles of an athlete, scholar and supplier.  The play is geared toward a high school audience.  

    Safe and Sound

    Safe & Sound was founded with the theory that improvements in public safety require the combination of law enforcement, community organizing and youth development.

    Sage’s Army

    Our mission is to address issues related to drug and alcohol addiction by providing informational support to children and families by raising awareness one person at a time.

    Saint Vincent College

    With more than 1,800 students, Saint Vincent College offers the personal attention and educational tools to integrate your intellectual aptitudes with your professional goals. 

    Sarah Heinz House 

    Much more than an after-school program, Sarah Heinz House, a Boys & Girls Club, affects each child in a unique and personal way. The club provides children and teens with powerful role models and a safe, fun place to go after school, on weekends and during the summer. It is our honor to help mould these future citizens with educational, artistic, recreational and community service programs. Our goal is to promote healthy lifestyles and offer an environment that is welcoming, nurturing and challenging. We seek to “build good citizens.”

    U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western Judicial District of Pennsylvania

    The U.S. Attorney's Office is responsible for prosecuting federal crimes in the District, including crimes related to national security, civil rights, public corruption, fraud, child exploitation, firearms and narcotics. 

    University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health

    The University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health is a top-ranked, internationally respected center of learning and research that prepares students to influence public health practices and medical care across the country and around the world.

    University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Summer Institute

    The Pittsburgh Summer Institute in Applied Public Health (PSI) provides an enhanced and productive practicum experience at the Allegheny County Health Department. 

    University of Pittsburgh - Law and Policy/Center for Public Health Practice

    By linking academia to professional public health practice, the Center for Public Health Practice (CPHP) contributes to better health for Pennsylvanians. 

    University of Pittsburgh School of Law

    Since 1895, the University of Pittsburgh School of Law has been preparing students to become excellent attorneys and leaders in the legal profession and society.

    University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy

    The University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, which is the national agency that accredits professional degree programs in pharmacy and providers of continuing pharmacy education.

    Westmoreland County Coroner’s Office

    The Westmoreland County Coroner's Office conducts investigations to determine the cause and manner of any death that falls into their jurisdiction.  


    GET IN

    GET IN is a project of the Westmoreland Drug Overdose Task Force. Our mission is to reduce drug overdose deaths 25% by 2019. Explore our pages and GET INFORMED, INVESTED, and INVOLVED.  

    Allegheny County Coroner's Office

    The Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office is unique in that it provides two vital functions. We investigate cases of homicide, suicide, accidental deaths, and all natural deaths that are sudden, unexpected or medically unattended. In addition, our state-of-the-art forensic laboratories apply current scientific methods for evidence analysis and investigations to effectively assist law enforcement, the judicial court systems, and health and environmental agencies. 

    Allegheny County Department of Public Health

    ACHD's goal is to assure quality public health services, promote wellness, and protect Allegheny County's citizens from harmful effects of environmental sources.

    Beaver County Behavioral Health and Developmental Services

    Beaver County Behavioral Health and Developmental Services is charged with the responsibility to encourage a seamless system of care that is accessible, continuously available and emphasizes health promotion, prevention, early intervention, resiliency, recovery
    and rehabilitation.

    Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh

    Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of children through excellence in patient care, teaching and research. Due to the local heroin crisis, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh has begun developing care and research to address the unique issues of addiction.

    DEA Youth Dance Program

    By reaching out to America's schools under the powerful name of DEA and the DEA Educational Foundation, the DEA Youth Dance Program will inspire youth with healthy and drug-free messages, and encourage them to exercise and express themselves artistically.

    Gateway Rehabilitation

    Gateway Rehab’s mission is to help all affected by addictive diseases to be healthy in mind, body and spirit.

    HHS – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

    The Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) is dedicated to improving the health and well being of adolescents to enable them to become healthy, productive adults. OAH supports and evaluates evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs and implements the Pregnancy Assistance Fund; coordinates HHS efforts related to adolescent health promotion and disease prevention; and communicates adolescent health information to health professionals and groups, those who serve youth, parents, grantees, and the general public.

    Keystone Wellness Programs

    Keystone Wellness Programs is dedicated to the promotion and coordination of community-wide education to help reduce the risk behaviors associated with using alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs; chronic diseases; and other health-related illnesses.  Trained health educators offer a variety of tobacco prevention and cessation programs for adults, teens and children, as well as working in collaboration with area drug prevention agencies to address the emerging issues facing western Pennsylvania residents.

    Pittsburgh Poison Center

    Staffed 24 hours a day, the Pittsburgh Poison Center (PPC) responds each year to more than 150,000 requests for poison information from the general public and medical professionals who reside in 44 Pennsylvania counties. 

    Not One More – Pittsburgh Chapter

    Not One More’s main purpose is to educate our families about the hazards of heroin and other drug abuse.  Not One More raises awareness by changing stigma and laws to being an end to the heroin, prescription drug epidemic.

    Safe and Sound

    Safe and Sound works to reduce violent crime in high crime, generally low-income neighborhoods. Safe and Sound’s three pronged approach incorporates after school youth programs, neighborhood organizers; crime free communities and law enforcement; and Federal, State and local authorities sharing crime information to assist in the neighborhoods

    Sage’s Army

    Our mission is to address issues related to drug and alcohol addiction by providing informational support to children and families by raising awareness one person at a time.

    University of Pittsburgh Center for Education and Drug Abuse Research

    CEDAR’s mission is to elucidate the etiology of substance abuse and substance abuse disorder using longitudinal research strategy. This research program is supported by a Center grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

    Westmoreland County Coroner’s Office

    The duties of the Westmoreland County Coroner's Office is to conduct investigations to determine the cause and manner of any death that falls into their jurisdiction and to determine whether or not there is sufficient reason to believe any such death may have resulted from criminal acts or criminal neglect of persons other than the deceased. The Coroner’s Office also tracks and analyzes drug toxicology.

    Westmoreland Drug & Alcohol Commission Inc.

    The Mission of Westmoreland Drug and Alcohol Commission, Inc. is to enhance the quality of life for persons who have experienced problems related to their addiction.


    Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP)

    The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP), reflects a strong commitment by the Commonwealth to provide education, intervention and treatment programs to reduce the drug and alcohol abuse and dependency for all Pennsylvanians.  DDAPs mission is to engage, coordinate and lead the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s effort to prevent and reduce drug, alcohol and gambling addiction and abuse; and to promote recovery, thereby reducing the human and economic impact of the disease. 

    DDAP Offices


    OverdoseFreePA is a collaboration between six partner organizations and sixteen Pennsylvania communities involved with overdose prevention and recovery activities. These communities are collaborating to develop resources that can be used by all Pennsylvanians to learn more about overdose and the way Substance Use Disorders (SUD) affect people, families and communities. By working together to create a central overdose resource, the treatment and prevention efforts in these communities will be increased.

    The Commonwealth Prevention Alliance Campaign to Stop Opiate Abuse:  PA Stop

    PA Stop is designed to educate Pennsylvanians about the risks of prescription painkiller and heroin use, the relationship between painkiller and heroin use, and what to do when you need help. We are working to prevent non-medical use of prescription painkillers and, in so doing, to break the connection between heroin and prescription painkillers. Together, we can stop opiate addiction before it starts. The Commonwealth Prevention Alliance (CPA) realizes immediate action needs to be taken to prevent opiate abuse. We believe this website, and its content, will provide you with increased awareness, education and information on how to seek help. 

    If you want to get involved in the DEA 360 Strategy you can start by educating yourself on the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic that is spreading in Pittsburgh, and then share what you have learned with your family, friends, community, neighbors, etc.

    Join a coalition or volunteer with a partnering organization. 

    Start a coalition in your community.

    Properly dispose of prescription drugs. 

    If you have prescription drugs that have expired or you no longer need you can deposit them into prescription drop-off boxes located in your community

    DEA US Badge
    United States Drug Enforcement Administration DEA.gov is an official site of the U.S. Department of Justice