The HIDTA Program began in 1988 when Congress authorized the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) to designate areas within the United States which exhibited serious drug trafficking problems and harmfully impacted other areas of the country as HIDTAs. The HIDTA Program provides additional federal resources to those areas to help eliminate or reduce drug trafficking and its harmful consequences. Appalachia HIDTA, which consists of counties in Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia, was created in 1998.
In the Eastern District of Tennessee, HIDTA funds DEA and FBI led drug task forces in Johnson City, Knoxville, and Chattanooga, as well other initiatives to reduce drug crime in the HIDTA. Most recently, to battle the overdose epidemic, the Knoxville Police Department teamed up with the Knox County District Attorney’s Office, Knox County Medical Examiner's Office, Sheriff's Office and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to form the Overdose Death Investigation Task Force, which is funded by Appalachia HIDTA.
The Appalachia HIDTA mission is to use a multi-disciplinary approach to deal with the ongoing threats to public health and safety, particularly as it regards prescription drug diversion, the emerging threat of heroin, as well as the continued threats of marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine and synthetic drugs. The Appalachia region is arguably the epicenter of this crisis, and requires unprecedented multi-disciplined cooperation to effectively address the many faceted health and public safety problems that result from this daunting threat. The Appalachia HIDTA will serve as the conduit for this cooperation.
Designated Appalachia HIDTA counties in east Tennessee include Bledsoe, Blount, Bradley, Campbell, Claiborne, Cocke, Franklin, Grainger, Greene, Grundy, Hamblen, Hamilton, Hawkins, Jefferson, Knox, Marion, Rhea, Roane, Scott, Sequatchie, Sevier, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington. An additional eight Tennessee counties in the middle district, including Cumberland, Fentress, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, and White, are also designated as members.
Recent AHIDTA Cases: