HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Drug Overdoses Are 'The Top Lethal Issue' In The U.S.
Pubdate: Tue, 29 Aug 2017
Source: Chicago Tribune (IL)
Copyright: 2017 Chicago Tribune Company
Contact:  http://www.chicagotribune.com/
Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/82
Author: Ivan Moreno

SESSIONS: DRUG OVERDOSES ARE 'THE TOP LETHAL ISSUE' IN THE U.S.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday called drug overdose deaths
"the top lethal issue" in the U.S. and urged law enforcement and
social workers to "create and foster a culture that's hostile to drug
use."

Sessions spoke to the annual conference of the National Alliance For
Drug Endangered Children. He said preliminary data show nearly 60,000
overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2016, the highest ever.

"Our current drug epidemic is indeed the deadliest in American
history. We've seen nothing like it," said Sessions.

He highlighted Department of Justice efforts to curb opioid abuse,
including a pilot program announced Aug. 2 to send 12 federal
prosecutors to cities ravaged by addiction to investigate health care
fraud and opioid scams.

At one point he accused Hollywood, the media and government officials
for sending "mixed messages about the harmfulness of drugs." He didn't
name any government officials.

"This is not acceptable," Sessions said. "We must not capitulate,
intellectually or morally, to drug use. We must create and foster a
culture that's hostile to drug use."

In May, Sessions reversed an effort from the Obama-era Justice
Department that called on federal prosecutors to rein in the use of
long, mandatory minimum sentences for some drug criminals to focus
resources elsewhere. Sessions is now directing prosecutors to pursue
the toughest punishments against most suspects.
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