During trip to Pennsylvania, Acting Director Regina LaBelle Announces Funding for Recently Designated Local HIDTA County

Washington, D.C.—In the midst of the ongoing overdose epidemic, Acting Director of National Drug Control Policy Regina LaBelle today announced $13.6 million in fiscal year 2021 discretionary funding for its High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Program, adding to the $274 million provided in base funding released earlier this year. This new allocation of funds will support 63 discretionary projects in 25 regional HIDTAs and the National HIDTA Assistance Center. The funding will also support operations in six newly-designated counties, including Erie County, Pennsylvania. As part of the announcement, Acting Director LaBelle spoke at the Western Pennsylvania Drug Summit where she outlined the Biden-Harris Administration’s support of law enforcement and public health leaders addressing addiction and the overdose epidemic.

During the summit, Acting Director LaBelle announced $150,000 of the discretionary funding will go to support Erie County as it joins the Ohio HIDTA, which includes parts of Pennsylvania.

“This newly announced funding will support critical public health and safety partnerships and reduce illicit drug trafficking as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s comprehensive approach to bend the curve on the overdose epidemic and save lives,” said Acting Director LaBelle.

The Office of National Drug Control Policy’s discretionary funding allocation provides $13.6 million for the following efforts:

  • $3.4 million to bolster public health and public safety partnerships and collaborations. Funding supports evidence-based and evidence-informed efforts that promote safer, healthier, and more resilient and prosperous communities. This includes support for the Washington/Baltimore HIDTA to maintain, manage, and expand an overdose surveillance system accessible to all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia. support regional efforts to support the collection of essential data in New England, New York/New Jersey, and Oregon/Idaho.
  • $2.9 million to combat evolving or emerging drug threats in 15 regional HIDTAs. Funding recommendations include support for a joint Arizona and New Mexico HIDTA initiative to curtail the flow of weapons across the Southwest border, an initiative in New York/New Jersey to target drug-related cybercrime, and an initiative in New England to support overdose response training for law enforcement officers.
  • $5.8 million to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of 23 regional HIDTA programs. This funding will provide HIDTA regions with the tools needed to inform better public health and public safety collaborations to address the opioid epidemic and inform responses to the prevention of substance use.
  • $1.5 million for 6 newly designated counties across 4 regional HIDTAs.

The HIDTA program supports regional law enforcement efforts in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia. HIDTA officials work with Federal, State, local, and tribal law enforcement entities to disrupt and dismantle drug trafficking organizations.

In May, ONDCP announced the addition of six counties to ONDCP-funded High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program, including Daviess County, Kentucky (joining the Appalachia HIDTA); El Dorado and Placer Counties, California (joining the Central Valley California HIDTA); Madison and St. Clair Counties, Illinois (joining the Midwest HIDTA); and Erie County, Pennsylvania (joining the Ohio HIDTA).

Earlier this year, ONDCP provided funding for the nationwide expansion of the HIDTA Overdose Response Strategy to all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia. The Strategy brings together drug intelligence officers and public health analysts at the local and regional level to share information and develop evidence-based intervention and support services that reduce overdoses. The Strategy, which is made possible through a partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, helps reduce drug overdoses by fostering interventions tailored to local communities. These include law enforcement-led linkages to care, using data to alert and respond to overdose spikes, and ensuring access to naloxone.

For a map of HIDTA Program Counties, please click HERE.

President Biden has identified addressing addiction and overdose as public health priorities in the United States. In its first-year drug policy priorities, the Biden-Harris Administration outlined a strategy that includes expanding access to prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and recovery support services. President Biden’s American Rescue Plan was a down payment on these priorities, investing nearly $4 billion in behavioral health and substance use disorder supports. The President’s FY22 budget request calls for $10.7 billion to support research, prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and recovery support services, with targeted investments to meet the needs of populations at greatest risk for overdose and substance use disorder.

The FY22 budget request also includes significant investments in reducing the supply of illicit substances. In particular, it includes important increases in interdiction efforts, which include air and maritime activities to seize drugs in transit and deter access to routes, enhancements of source nations’ ability to interdict drugs, and efforts along the United States border to interdict the flow of drugs. The FY22 request also continues to support efforts to strengthen source country programs that address drug trafficking and corruption, strengthen the rule of law and anti-corruption activities, promote human rights, and support development programs.

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