NEHIDTA sponsors several special projects throughout the year.
Overdose Response Strategy (ORS)
Since September 2015 the New England HIDTA has been awarded discretionary funds to support the regional Overdose Response Strategy (ORS) developed and implemented by five HIDTAs most affected by the heroin/opioid epidemic sweeping the northeast. Since 2015, the effort has grown to include 11 HIDTAs, including Appalachia, Chicago, Indiana, Liberty Mid-Atlantic, New England, New York/New Jersey, Washington/Baltimore, Ohio, Michigan, North Central, and Atlanta-Carolinas HIDTAs, encompassing 24 states. Together, the ORS launched a comprehensive and unified strategy with the overarching goal of reducing drug overdose deaths by facilitating collaboration between public health and public safety.
Domestic Highway Enforcement (DHE)
Drug traffickers commonly use private and commercial vehicles to transport illicit drugs into and through the New England HIDTA region, principally from sources of supply in New York City, Atlanta, and Canada. Drug traffickers also use the same conveyances to transport drug proceeds from the region to the source areas.
The Domestic Highway Enforcement Program at the New England HIDTA promotes collaborative intelligence-led policing to enhance coordinated multi-jurisdictional operational law enforcement efforts on the region’s highway system, thereby enhancing public safety and reducing criminal utilization of these transportation corridors. As the regional coordinator of the Northeast Region, the New England HIDTA, supported by the New York/New Jersey HIDTA, coordinates DHE operations involving state police agencies from the six New England states, the U.S. Border Patrol, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Customs and Border Protection, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (HSI/ICE). Additionally, the New England HIDTA consults with the New York/New Jersey HIDTA on a regional basis.
The DHE partners engage in highly visible patrols along the interstate highways and secondary access roads, conduct checkpoints at designated border crossings, provide actionable intelligence and participate in related investigations utilizing an “All Crimes, All Threats, All Hazards” approach.
Essex County Youth Leadership Academy
Since the initial award was received in 2009, the Essex County, MA Sheriff’s Department (ECSD) and the New England HIDTA partner to augment the ECSD’s Youth Leadership Academy. The ECSD’s Youth Leadership Academy is a summer program designed to offer at-risk children, ages 8-15, a safe, challenging, and fun atmosphere through the completion of various projects and classes. This drug, alcohol and tobacco free program provides instruction in anger management, ethics, peer counseling, teamwork, illegal drug use, and cooperation in a gang-free and drug-free environment. The Academy is offered at no-cost to families in all (34) cities and towns in Essex County, Massachusetts. The seven-week Academy typically sees approximately 525 participants from the most at-risk communities in Essex County. Furthermore, on average, more than 30 local businesses and organizations from both the public and private sectors participate or make a contribution to the Academy’s activities.
Prescription Drug Project
The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) reports that “Prescription drug abuse is the Nation’s faster-growing drug problem and has been classified as an epidemic by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” The New England HIDTA Drug Threat Assessment has identified opioid abuse, primarily of heroin and controlled prescription opioids, as the most significant drug threat to the New England region. The New England HIDTA prescription drug project embraces a balanced strategy to effectively impact controlled prescription opioid drug abuse.
Both efforts enhance and expand the operations of the New England HIDTA task forces. These efforts generate awareness among the most vulnerable youth of our communities and target organizations whose illegitimate activities have a direct influence on the social order within the six New England states and nationwide.
The work of the New England HIDTA task forces has proven successful in removing dangerous drugs from our streets, apprehending fugitives living among us, and dismantling drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and criminal enterprises that prey on our communities.
S.C.O.P.E. of Pain (Safe & Competent Opioid Prescribing Education).
Since 2013 New England HIDTA has held a collaborative partnership with the Boston University School of Medicine (BUSOM) to offer an accredited program, the Safe and Competent Opioid Prescribing Education (S.C.O.P.E.) of Pain. S.C.O.P.E. of Pain is an accredited program, offering continuing medical education (CME) training to prescribers. Trainings are offered at a regional or state scale as well as at institution-based community settings, individually paced online trainings, print and live meetings.
The BUSM has been educating medical professionals regarding safe and competent prescribing of opioids since 2010. The latest iteration of this educational endeavor, S.C.O.P.E. of Pain, was launched on February 28, 2013. S.C.O.P.E. of Pain provides ongoing CME training designed to help prescribers safely and effectively manage patients suffering chronic pain through opioid analgesics.
New England HIDTA partners with colleges & universities in the New England area to find confident, driven, & capable students to work in our office. This is a “hands-on” program offered to graduate & undergraduate students. Interns provide useful assistance to New England HIDTA while gaining on the job training that will assist them with their future career search. New England HIDTA provides challenging assignments & projects for the interns along with suitable supervision to create the most helpful & beneficial experience in a day-to-day work environment.