The White House is zeroing in on the growing heroin epidemic, announcing federal funding Monday to combat use of the drug with a focus on both public health and safety, reports the Los Angeles Times.
About $2.5 million from President Obama's anti-drug programs will target heroin abuse in New England, Appalachia and East Coast cities, and $1.3 million will go to fight trafficking on the border with Mexico, drug czar Michael Botticelli said.
Public health coordinators will monitor heroin use and issue warnings regarding dangerous batches of the drug. Public safety coordinators will work with law enforcement to stem illegal imports.
Botticelli emphasized the benefits that would come from cooperation between public health officials and law enforcement.
"It's often our law enforcement folks who have more timely information, but there was never a forum for that kind of information-sharing. … Often those of us on the public health side were dealing with 6-month-old or year-old data," he said.