U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker both Democrats announced on Friday the expansion of the Liberty Mid-Atlantic High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program to include Gloucester County, which has experienced a sharp rise in both heroin and opioid use and trafficking.
The designation will allow Gloucester County to receive federal resources to further the coordination and development of drug control efforts among Federal, state, local law enforcement officials.
“Opioid addiction does not discriminate and affects families from all parts of our state,” said Menendez in a statement. “In order to tackle this crisis we need a joint effort from law enforcement, medical professionals, and addiction treatment providers. With this new designation, Gloucester County will be able to access key federal resources to properly address this epidemic and ultimately save lives.”
“Our nation’s opioid epidemic has taken a devastating toll on families and communities across New Jersey,” said Booker. “This federal investment will give Gloucester County access to the tools and resources it needs to better combat this crisis.”
According to the New Jersey Department of Health, there were 456 drug-related deaths in 2017 in Gloucester County, which is up from 51 drug-related deaths in 2014. In 2017, there were 797 naloxone administrations.
HIDTA was created by Congress through the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, and provides assistance to Federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies operating in areas determined to be critical drug-trafficking regions of the United States.