The White House today announced a new initiative to combat the nation's growing heroin epidemic.
The $5-million plan will focus on treatment over punishment for addicts,partnering local law enforcement with public health officials. It will also help combat trafficking of the drug.
The year-long trial will begin in 15 East Coast states, where heroin is a major concern.
NBC News reports that the plan represents a statement from the federal government that heroin is being treated as a "public safety issue."
Since 2002, the number of fatal heroin overdoses in the United States has nearly quadrupled.