White House launches initiative to combat heroin use

AP News
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Posted: Aug 17, 2015 10:34 AM

EDGARTOWN, Mass. (AP) — The White House is launching a new $5 million initiative to combat heroin use and trafficking of the drug, particularly in states along the East Coast.

About half of the money will fund a program to link public health and law enforcement agencies, with the goal of prioritizing treatment for drug users over punishments. Monday's announcement comes amid a spike in heroin use and deaths in the United States.

The rise in heroin use has become a frequent topic in the 2016 presidential campaign. Democratic frontrunner Hillary Rodham Clinton recently held a forum in New Hampshire on drug addiction, an issue she said voters have been frequently raising as she's campaigned in the early voting state.