Addressing the Heroin Epidemic: New Jersey’s Intelligence-Led Approach

The skyrocketing use of heroin and other opiates has become a significant health care crisis confronting a number of U.S. states, including New Jersey. Drug overdose deaths in the United States have surpassed the number of deaths resulting from motor vehicle accidents, the U.S.’ former leading cause of accidental death. This startling fact underscores the urgency of the situation faced by New Jersey and other U.S. states.1 Key to supporting New Jersey in addressing this crisis is the fusion center, the New Jersey Regional Operations Intelligence Center (ROIC). The ROIC is an all-hazards, all-crimes, all-threats fusion center developed with an information and intelligence capacity to support homeland security, public safety, and public health officials. The ROIC developed a Drug Monitoring Initiative (DMI) that has evolved into a multistate, multi-agency program focused on sharing information with law enforcement and homeland security professionals in order to better understand and address the complex issue of heroin and opiate use and addiction.