(Podcast) How Law Enforcement is Rethinking Mental Health and Addiction

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If anyone has gotten a true bird’s eye view of the drug problem in the United States, it’s someone like Special Agent Karl Colder of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. From starting in Philadelphia when crack cocaine was the top concern to overseeing the region containing West Virginia and D.C. when the opioid crisis progressed from prescription pills to heroin and fentanyl, finally directing the entire department of internal affairs at the DEA, Special Agent Colder has seen the whole drug trade up close and personally. In this conversation, he reflects on some of the changes and challenges experienced by law enforcement over the past thirty years.

Now retired from the DEA, he works as a consultant, providing education and training to faith communities and law enforcement organizations on evidence-based practices relating to addiction and mental health intervention. A big focus of his work centers around improving such resources for law enforcement and first responders.

Agent Colder has a lot of fascinating insights covering everything from the southern border to rural communities, from youth education to telehealth. His structural and systemic perspectives on what’s happening with law enforcement are particularly interesting.

Hosted and produced by Jeremy Kourvelas. Original music by Blind House.