“…I’m not calling anybody out, because I think the people who look at this problem realize quickly how devastating it has been to families, to communities, to public health dollars, to law enforcement resources. There is no one magic bullet for this.”
~US Attorney General Loretta Lynch
The Obama Administration is continuing to address the heroin crisis in America by announcing a renewed strategy aimed at identifying those physicians who over-prescribe opioid painkillers, drug traffickers, and distribution routes throughout the country.
In a recent interview Attorney General said the strategy will be two-pronged:
- FIRST, a memo will be sent out next week to every US attorney’s office – all 94 – urging prosecutors to more readily share data across state lines.
- SECOND, direction will be given to federal prosecutors to increase the coordination and cooperation between law enforcement and public health officials – putting equal emphasis on treatment and prevention.
Lynch said, “We’ve been looking at this for a long time, with an awareness that you can’t just have enforcement strategy alone.”
According to Michael Botticelli, the Director of National Drug Control Policy, part of this new push will also be to urge Congress to actually provide the $181 million funding for legislation passed in July to expand drug addiction prevention and treatment.
Earlier this year, the White House asked for $1.1 billion as part of a landmark plan to pay for drug treatment services.
Director Botticelli said, “The biggest area where we have fallen short is filling the gap between people who need treatment and those able to get it. We need more treatment capacity. We cannot wait to see people. This requires a response commensurate with the size of the epidemic.”
Heroin Statistics in San Diego
According to the San Diego County Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force:
- From 2013 to 2014, there was a 22% increase in fatal heroin overdoses.
- 2014’s total was 34% higher than the number of heroin-associated deaths in 2010.
- Among San Diego adults who entered drug treatment in 2014, 28% self-reported that heroin was their drug of choice.
- Among the adults arrested in San Diego County in 2014, 13% tested positive for heroin.
If you are among those whose lives have been affected by the heroin epidemic, call Lasting Recovery TODAY – San Diego’s #1 outpatient drug and alcohol rehabilitation program.
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