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
200% rise in drug-related overdose deaths over the last decade in St. Louis (Source: DEA St. Louis Division Intelligence) Watch.
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.
Test your knowledge about opioids by taking this quiz.
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.
Heroin trafficking is a significant contributor to both the rising homicide numbers and the increasing prevalence of violent crime. The greater St. Louis area has experienced an explosive growth in heroin availability and purity, geographical presence, number of users, and overdose deaths.
(U) U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, DEA Intelligence Report, National Heroin Threat Assessment Summary; April 2015.
 DEA St. Louis Division Intelligence
PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE:
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.
After using heroin once, Jordan died. He was a good kid, a happy kid, a kid that was going through a rough moment and his bad choice and the company he kept that night was a recipe for his death. Read more.
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
Treatment Services in St Louis
If you're looking for treatment specific to opioid addiction, check out this Opioid Treatment Program Directory by SAMHSA.
Otherwise, use SAMHSA Behavioral Health Treatment Locator at the bottom of the page to find general drug treatment facilities in your area.
Get involved! Join a coalition or volunteer with a partnering organization.
The Alliance for Healthy Communities (AHC) exists to take health prevention efforts to a new level. AHC is to be the center point for building collaborative partnerships through which innovative programs can be delivered that will (a) change community conditions that enable poor health and (b) engage more of our youth in meaningful roles within their schools and communities.
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.
The mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis (BGCSTL) is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.
Bridgeway Behavioral Health, Inc. is a private, not-for-profit organization that was founded on February 14th, 1978 as Family Alcohol and Drug Counseling Services, Inc to serve clients in need of outpatient substance abuse treatment services.
The mission of CADCA (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America) is to strengthen the capacity of community coalitions to create and maintain safe, healthy and drug-free communities globally.
C.R.U.S.H (Community Resources United to Stop Heroin) is an initiative established May 2015 by the Office of St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney Tim Lohmar. The initiative involves schools, law enforcement, treatment providers, community leaders and health care organizations to address the growing heroin epidemic.
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.
Jordan's Place is a community supported recreational facility for teens and is a safe place for youth to socialize in a supervised environment.
The Shriners are a brotherhood of men dedicated to fun and fellowship but with a serious purpose.
NCADA works to reduce or prevent the harms of alcohol and other drug use through education, intervention and advocacy.
Rockwood Drug-Free Coalition provides leadership, education and resources to prevent and address substance use among youth.
SSM Health is a Catholic not-for-profit health system serving the comprehensive health needs of communities across the Midwest through a robust and fully integrated health care delivery system.
The Department of Health is responsible for the health and safety of the community.
Founded in 1864, St. Louis College of Pharmacy is the third-oldest and 10th-largest college of pharmacy in America. For more than 150 years, the College has been preparing students for expert practice and leadership in pharmacy and health professions careers.
The Saint Louis County Department of Public Health regularly assesses the health and environment of the county and responds with sound policies that help assure the availability of high quality public health services for everyone.
Below is a list of Local organizations that provide services to the public regarding addiction, community empowerment, drug education and prevention, drug take-back programs, recovery, and overall health and wellness.
Jordan’s Place is a non-profit organization serving Warren County, which offers a community gathering facility directed at providing positive alternative activities for area youth. Our mission is to end substance abuse, bullying, depression, stress/anxiety, suicide, violence, teen pregnancy and the many other challenges facing youth today. Jordan’s Place believes in changing individual, institutional and societal beliefs, attitudes and behaviors that perpetuate these issues. We provide comprehensive and innovative programs that serve area youth and their families.
NCADA works to reduce or prevent the harms of alcohol and other drug use through education, intervention and advocacy. One of the NCADA’s major goals is to teach young people the skills needed to resist the pressures to use and abuse drugs. We offer proven, evidence- and best-practices-based curricula for every grade from K-12 in nearly 300 schools in the region.
Walking for Wellness: Stop Heroin was founded in memory of Nicky Vigna, who died of a heroin overdose on January 3, 2013. Nicky struggled with heroin addiction for three years, and left behind family and friends who miss her every day. Stop Heroin's mission is to educate the community on the dangers of heroin, and prevent initiation of use.
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 St.Louis, and then share what you have learned with your family, friends, community, neighbors, etc.
Join a coalition or volunteer with a partnering organization.
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.