Heroin Response Strategy

The Heroin Response Strategy (HRS) is an initiative designed to enhance public health-public safety collaboration and to strengthen and improve efforts to reduce drug overdose deaths across 8 High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTAs).

The HRS currently spans 20 states: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.


The mission of the HRS is to reduce fatal and non-fatal opioid overdose incidents by developing and sharing information about heroin and other opioids across agencies and disciplines, and by offering evidence-based intervention strategies.

With support from the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an HRS Public Health Analyst (PHA) and a Drug Intelligence Officer (DIO) are assigned to each HRS state, working to build infrastructure to support inter-agency communication and cross-disciplinary collaboration.

PHAs and DIOs work collaboratively with various local, state, and federal agencies to gather, analyze, and disseminate vital information about drug abuse with a focus on actionable intelligence, trend information, and best practices for developing evidence-based responses to the opioid epidemic in their area.

Initiative Goals

  1. Create and coordinate shared data regimes that allow public health, law enforcement, and others to respond quickly and effectively to the opioid overdose epidemic.
  2. Develop and support strategic, evidence-based responses to generate immediate reductions in the number of overdose-related fatalities.
  3. Promote and support efforts to prevent or reduce opioid misuse.
  4. Promote the active engagement of local communities in the discussion, planning, and implementation of HRS goals and activities.