Sessions: U.S. Must Create ‘Culture That’s Hostile To Drug Use’ To Combat Opioid Epidemic
"Our current drug epidemic is indeed the deadliest in American history. We've seen nothing like it," said Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday. Meanwhile, officials explain why the crisis hasn't officially been declared a national emergency yet.
The Associated Press:
Sessions: Drug Overdoses 'The Top Lethal Issue' In The US
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. (Moreno, 8/29)
Why Hasn’t The White House Declared A State Of Emergency Over The Opioid Crisis?
Speaking from Bedminster, New Jersey, in early August, President Donald Trump vowed to formally dub the U.S. opioid crisis a “national emergency.” But nearly a month later, the president has yet to officially declare a state of emergency — a move that would enable the federal government to pump funds into addressing the drug epidemic. (8/30)
And in news from the states —
Hepatitis C Epidemic Threatens Alaska's Opioid Addicts
Like many states, Alaska is struggling under the burden of opioid abuse. Prescription painkillers and heroin accounted for 74 percent of Alaska's drug overdose deaths last year. Transmission of blood-born viruses like hepatitis C, which can cause liver scarring, cancer, and death, is exploding, increasing in some rural areas by 490 percent in just the last few years. One calculation estimated that to treat all the Alaskans who contracted hepatitis C from injecting drugs in 2015 would cost $90 million. (Hughes, 8/29)
West Virginia Enlists Teachers In Opioid Fight
West Virginia is preparing to place schoolteachers on the front lines in the fight against the opioid epidemic. The Mountain State, grappling with the highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the country, will soon give elementary, middle and high school teachers access to naloxone, the lifesaving opioid overdose reversal drug, on school grounds. (Ehley, 8/29)
Cleveland Plain Dealer:
Trump White House Reaches Out To Ohio Counties
Invited to the White House to share their local concerns, about 80 county commissioners and county council members from Ohio spent Tuesday talking with President Donald Trump's top aides, including cabinet secretaries and, briefly, Vice President Mike Pence. Jack Schron, a county council member from Cuyahoga County, said it was the first time he is aware of that the White House asked for so much local input. (Koff, 8/29)