Office of National Drug Control Policy

HIDTA Initiatives

Domestic Highway Enforcement

The Domestic Highway Enforcement (DHE) Strategy promotes collaborative, intelligence-led, unbiased policing in coordinated and mutually supportive multi-jurisdictional law enforcement efforts on the Nation’s highways.  The DHE strategy both improves the investigative efforts of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) in attacking drug trafficking organizations and has significant impact on traffic safety, homeland security, and other crimes.


  • To enhance investigations leading to the disruption and dismantlement of the drug trafficking and money laundering organizations that use the Nation’s highways as a means of transporting illegal drugs, currency, and other contraband and illicit commodities from one location to another
  • To cultivate and share intelligence information pertaining to individuals and organizations who use the Nation’s highways as a means of transporting illegal drugs, currency, and other illicit commodities or create other threats and hazards on those highways
  • To promote shared operational planning, intelligence, and coordination among Federal, state, and local law enforcement to improve their ability to effectively address all crimes, threats, and hazards relating to our Nation’s highways

Given the wide footprint of the HIDTA program, a coordinated nationwide highway enforcement strategy contributes significantly to reducing criminal activity and enhancing public safety on the Nation’s major transportation corridors.  Such an approach builds on the strengths of both the HIDTA program and state and local law enforcement agencies (LEAs) which have historically provided resources to ensure the Nation’s highways are safe for citizens and not used for illegal activities, such as drug trafficking. 

The DHE strategy has been implemented within nine designated DHE regions.  These regions are designated by ONDCP in consultation with HIDTA directors. The DHE Regional Coordinators are currently the HIDTA directors in the following HIDTAs:

  • Region 1 – Southwest Border HIDTA - South Texas Region
  • Region 2 – Northwest HIDTA
  • Region 3 – Rocky Mountain HIDTA
  • Region 4 – Midwest HIDTA
  • Region 5 – Chicago HIDTA
  • Region 6 – Michigan HIDTA
  • Region 7 – New England HIDTA
  • Region 8 – Philadelphia/Camden HIDTA
  • Region 9 – Atlanta HIDTA

National Emerging Threats Initiative

The National Emerging Threats Initiative (NETI) is a key domestic project that is administered by the National HIDTA Assistance Center (NHAC) and overseen by the HIDTA Directors Committee (HDC).  NETI is a poly-drug national trends, intelligence and best practices sharing initiative designed to coordinate HIDTA emerging drug threat strategies in affected HIDTA areas in the United States.  The initiative focuses on systemic approaches to addressing the illegal drug supply including the divergent use of new drugs along with the collateral issues of each.

NETI accomplishes this by identifying emerging drug threats and their patterns as well as addressing each threat through the use of best practices, promoting cooperation among public safety, public health, regulators, treatment, and prevention entities, while providing innovative solutions to identified emerging drug threats.  There is a NETI National Coordinator in San Diego, California whose office is based at the Southwest Border/San Diego-Imperial Valley HIDTA and there are currently two Deputy Coordinators, one based with the Los Angeles HIDTA and the other based in the Atlanta/Carolina HIDTA.  The NETI Coordinator manages all Deputy Coordinators activities, and all coordinators provide national coverage for the initiative’s mission.


While the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program’s primary mission is to dismantle and disrupt drug trafficking organizations, expanding prevention efforts offers HIDTAs the ability to address the drug threat in a community in a more balanced fashion. 

Today, prevention and treatment initiatives are an integral part of the HIDTA program.  Currently all 28 HIDTAs, including the five Southwest Border HIDTA regions, support prevention initiatives across the country.  The HIDTA members work with community-based coalitions and adhere to evidence-based prevention practices, such as community mobilization and organizational change.

Examples of HIDTA Prevention Initiatives:

  • The New York/New Jersey HIDTA’s Drug Prevention and Awareness initiative was created in an effort to reduce drug abuse and overdoses.  This initiative focuses on providing both media campaigns and outreach programs to inform the community of the dangers of illegal drug use, including prescription drug abuse.  The New Jersey Drug Enforcement Administration has joined the partnership for a drug-free New Jersey to promote the DO NO HARM: “Keeping it Legal and Safe in the Medical Community” education and awareness symposium for physicians and other medical professionals in New Jersey.  This symposium is a continuum of the New Jersey Division's proactive response to nationwide prescription drug epidemic.  The symposium engages physicians and medical professionals in the prevention of the prescription drug epidemic, educates them on the link between prescription medication and heroin abuse, and provides a forum for the discussion and development of best practices addressing the epidemic of prescription drug abuse and the rising levels of heroin abuse and deaths.
  • The Appalachia HIDTA Prevention Initiative is a multifaceted prevention/education initiative that will serve all designated counties in the four states of Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.  The goal of the initiative is to deliver education on drug misuse to local coalitions, youth programming, supporting research, advocacy and service in order to create safer communities by preventing the disease of substance dependency.  One of the programs this initiative will coordinate is called "On the Move Prevention Initiative” which partners the HIDTA with Operation UNITE (Unlawful Narcotics, Investigation, Treatment, and Education), a program that has been in existence since 2003 and has experienced much success since its inception.