BALTIMORE (WJZ) — On any given day, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) makes arrests somewhere in the U.S.
The goal is to go after the source of illegal and highly profitable illegal drugs.
“We also realize that we have to go out and help with prevention, because just cutting off the supply and arresting people does not work,” DEA Supervisory Special Agent Todd Edwards said.
A new strategy directly tied to the emergence of fentanyl — a powerful opioid that’s found its way into heroin and cocaine — triggered a growing wave of overdoses and deaths.
The DEA is now trying to partner with medical staffs, recovery centers, local police and clergy to find ways to improve prevention efforts.
“The older members of our community, we’re going to focus on today, who are addicted to opioids,” Maryland U.S. Attorney Robert Hur said. “They’re essentially playing roulette every time they buy on the streets and they get high. Is there or isn’t there fentanyl in this dose I’m about to take”?
Director of the Baltimore County Health Department Gregory Branch said that there is a crisis in Maryland and the U.S.
“One death is too many, and from my perspective, we’ve got a crisis, it’s getting worse,” Branch said.
The growth of opioid addiction also impacts rehab facilities.
“We are full all the time and we have a waiting list,” said Director of the Ranch in Frederick County Laura Britt. “If I had 90 beds I could fill 90 beds. So there is a tremendous need in our community.”