Federal Heroin Plan to Indirectly Affect Delmarva - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Federal Heroin Plan to Indirectly Affect Delmarva

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White House National Drug Control Policy Director Michael Botticelli was in Delaware on Monday to speak about the government's plan to fight heroin trafficking. (Photo: WBOC) White House National Drug Control Policy Director Michael Botticelli was in Delaware on Monday to speak about the government's plan to fight heroin trafficking. (Photo: WBOC)

 DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - The White House on Monday announced a multi-million dollar initiative to fight heroin trafficking - mostly directed in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.

The biggest goal is to better connect law enforcement and public health offices to do that. 

The plan only indirectly impacts Delmarva, but it does so in a very important way. It focuses on five designated high-intensity drug trafficking metro areas, including New York, Baltimore, and Philadelphia. The last includes New Castle County. 

While Delmarva isn't a part of those regions, they are all tied to the flow of heroin through the peninsula. In fact, Dover police and Delaware State Police tell WBOC these are the places where the heroin that is making it into their jurisdictions is coming from.

White House National Drug Control Policy Director Michael Botticelli was in Delaware on Monday to discuss the plan, and a number of Sussex County lawmakers were there to listen.

"We know that our issues with drugs in Sussex County usually are transported from New Castle County," Rep. Ruth Briggs King, R-Georgetown said. "A lot of the drug activity and drug trafficking comes through the I-95 corridor."

"Addiction cuts across every part of our state from the biggest city, Wilmington, to some of our smallest towns. And we've all got to learn together," Gov. Jack Markell said.

Over the past two weeks Delaware has rolled out new plans for regulations and new treatment options to address the state's heroin and opiate addiction problem. State Health and Social Services Sec. Rita Landgraf says stopping illegal drugs from getting to people in the first place is important, too.

"To control the impact of the disease, we work backward or upstream, to understand the drug distribution patterns and to interrupt this flow," she said.

Landgraf said pairing drug intelligence officers with public health coordinators, as this new initiative does, will go a long way toward doing that.

Heroin and opiate abuse is a serious problem across Delmarva. As an example statistic, more people died in Delaware last year from suspected overdose than in car crashes.

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