NEW BEDFORD — The opioid epidemic sweeping the nation has caught enough attention on the SouthCoast that it will become the second region in the Northeast where the Drug Enforcement Administration is implementing a new strategy to address prescription opioid misuse, fentanyl and heroin abuse, and violent crime.

The goals of the new strategy include stopping the deadly cycle of prescription opioid misuse and heroin abuse by dismantling the drug trafficking organizations and gangs fueling violence on the streets and addiction in communities. The strategy includes partnerships with healthcare professionals, social service organizations and government service agencies that are best positioned to provide long-term help and support to effectuate drug-free communities.

A news conference announcing the region’s selection is scheduled for Thursday at 11:00 a.m. at Seamen’s Bethel in New Bedford.

Assistant Special Agent in Charge, DEA NEFD Mark Skeffington will act as moderator. Speakers will include Associate Special Agent in Charge, DEA NEFD Jon DeLena and President and CEO of Positive Action Against Chemical Addiction Carl Alves.

Some of the national and local partners that are participating in the new strategy include the U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Massachusetts, Bristol County District Attorney’s Office, New Bedford, Fall River, Fairhaven and Attleboro Police Departments, CADCA, Elks, Greater New Bedford Youth Alliance, Northstar Learning Centers, Positive Action Against Chemical Addiction, Power Forward, and many others.