The Drug Enforcement Administration is taking a new approach to fighting the epidemic of heroin that has plagued the United States in general, and North Texas in particular, over the last several years. According to DEA officials, one of the reasons it has become such an epidemic is that it is so cheap and can be administered in several different ways.
Daniel Salter, Special Agent in Charge at the DEA Field Division Office in Dallas says that the drug is “psychologically addicting and [when it’s abused requires] a long road to recovery.” As a result, the Administration has begun using billboards to reach out to members of the community in Dallas and other parts of North Texas in an effort to curb the epidemic.
DEA officials say that heroin use and distribution is such an expansive and widespread problem in the North Texas area that the billboards are just the latest in an ongoing effort to make the community aware of the extent of the problem. The Administration is hoping that they will help to generate leads to heroin traffickers in North Texas and in parts of Oklahoma. The billboards feature an image of a DEA agent badge next to the words “Stop Heroin Deaths – Report Activity ANONYMOUSLY” with the web address of the DEA tip site and a number to text tips to.
Salter says that the focus for the DEA is not necessarily on the user because the Administration would rather get them into treatment and on the road to recovery. However, he says they also want the information that users have about traffickers so they can identify sources of supply and distribution points in order to stop the flow of “this poison [into] our communities.”
The DEA has been working in conjunction with a number of local law enforcement agencies over the course of the last year in a Heroin Initiative Task Force intended to locate and “snuff out” heroin traffickers in North Texas and Oklahoma.