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October 8, 2020

National Stakeholder Partnership Series: The Opioid Crisis and Children: The Critical Role of Law Enforcement

The opioid crisis, particularly its effect on children, presents a profound and ongoing challenge. Through the spectrum of the five pathways that provide access to deflection, police officers can use their position to make a difference in the lives of these children in three important ways: 1) turning every encounter into an opportunity; 2) harnessing deflection as a means for early identification and intervention in the lives of drug-endangered children; and 3) realizing that addiction is not just about an individual, but also about the family. This publication includes helpful resources in the endnotes and is a result of a partnership effort between the Police, Treatment, and Community Collaborative (PTACC; more at and National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children (National DEC; more at PTACC and National DEC are members of the National Stakeholder Partnership (NSP), collaboratively supported by the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Office for Victims of Crime. The overarching goals of the NSP are to advance awareness and knowledge to help mitigate the traumatization of children and youth and to advance dissemination of innovative practices throughout the field. NSP resources and guidance will be posted on the COSSAP Resource Center as the various products become available.

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