"Within the larger framework of the federal government’s efforts to counter drug trafficking is the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program. The program supports multiagency activities ranging from enforcement initiatives involving investigation, interdiction, and prosecution, to drug use prevention and treatment initiatives.

"Congress initially created the HIDTA program through the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 (P.L. 100-690) and permanently authorized it in the Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 2006 (P.L. 109-469). The HIDTA program provides assistance to law enforcement agencies—at the federal, state, local, and tribal levels—operating in areas of the United States that have been deemed as critical drug trafficking regions. The program is designed with the county as its geographic unit of inclusion. There are 29 designated HIDTAs in the United States, cutting across all 50 states, the District Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

"The HIDTA program is administered by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). However, each of the HIDTA regions is governed by its own Executive Board, which has the flexibility to design and implement initiatives that confront the specific drug trafficking threats in its region. For FY2018, Congress appropriated $280.0 million for the HIDTA program, a 10.2% increase over the FY2017 appropriation of $254.0 million. Each HIDTA receives a base amount of funding (ranging from approximately $3.1 million to $14.6 million in FY2017) to support initiatives in its region, and the remainder is allocated to support specific initiatives throughout the country."


Kristin FInklea. High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Program. Congressional Research Service, CRS R45188. Updated May 3, 2018.