Dayton a pilot city for DEA ‘360-Degree Strategy’ to fight opioid epidemic

Dayton has been selected as a pilot city for the "DEA 360-Degree Strategy" to fight the opioid epidemic.

Overdose deaths tick down, but will it last?

ExploreUnusual overdose locations: Another sign of opioid epidemic

The strategy aims to address prescription opioid misuse, heroin abuse and violent crime, Timothy Plancon, special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration Detroit Field Division, said in a prepared statement released Monday afternoon.

"The national strategy emphasizes prevention, treatment/recovery and law enforcement officials working together to combat the problem from all sides," Plancon said.

Plancon and several area law enforcement officials -- including Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl, Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer and Bruce Langos, Montgomery County Drug Free Coalition chairman -- are expected to lay out the program in more detail later this week.

In September 2016, the DEA used the "360-Degree Strategy" to address the opiate epidemic in Louisville, Ky.

At that time, Plancon said the strategy comprised a three-fold approach to fighting drug traffickers and the epidemic:

  • Enforcement Actions that target drug trafficking organizations supplying opioids to the neighborhoods of Louisville. These efforts will include a strategy to specifically address those traffickers that supply opioids resulting in fatal and non-fatal overdoses.
  • Diversion Control By engaging drug manufacturers, wholesalers, practitioners and pharmacists to increase awareness of the heroin and prescription drug problem and push for responsible prescribing and use of these medications throughout the medical community.
  • Community Outreach By partnering with medical professionals, governmental and community service organizations to proactively educate the public of the dangers of prescription drug and heroin abuse, and to guide individuals to treatment services when needed.

By bringing together experts in substance abuse and prevention, the DEA 360 Strategy aims, in part, to address the opioid and heroin threat posed to the community by focusing on providing resources and programs designed to educate youth and those most influential to youth including; parents, caregivers, and educators to the harms of drug abuse.

In February, the West Virginia cities of Charleston and Huntington and the surrounding Tri-County area were added to the "360 Strategy," Appalachian Magazine reported.

In November 2015, the 360 program was launched in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, followed by St. Louis, Missouri, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, earlier this year. Louisville represents the fourth city nationally to launch this initiative.

According to a March report from the CDC National Center for Health Statistics/Morbidity and Morality Weekly Report (December 30, 2016):

** 2000-2015 More than 550,000 unintentional drug overdose deaths in the U.S.

In 2015

** 52,404 drug-related fatal overdoses

** 144 deaths every 24 hours (129 in 2014)

** 1 death every 10.07 minutes (11.16 minutes in 2014)

** 33,091 deaths involved opioids, including heroin

** 17,536 deaths involved opioid pain relievers (excluding the category predominated by illicit fentanyl)

Deaths down in Montgomery County

After a steady drumbeat of increasing numbers of accidental drug overdoses, Montgomery County got a rare bit of good news last month: the death total took a significant dip.

After seeing the number of deaths soar to 80 in May, the July number dropped all the way to 38, the lowest number for a month this year.

About the Authors