McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

National News

March 12, 2014

Holder: Heroin deaths an 'urgent and growing public health crisis'

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Eric Holder, calling the rise in deaths from overdoses of heroin and prescription painkillers an "urgent and growing public health crisis," is outlining a series of efforts by the Justice Department to combat the epidemic.

At a time of growing public acceptance of marijuana use, Holder is drawing attention to the negative consequences of heroin. In a video message released early Monday, Holder said heroin overdose deaths increased by 45 percent between 2006 and 2010.

"When confronting the problem of substance abuse, it makes sense to focus attention on the most dangerous types of drugs," Holder said. "And right now, few substances are more lethal than prescription opiates and heroin."

Holder added, "Addiction to heroin and other opiates — including certain prescription painkillers — is impacting the lives of Americans in every state, in every region, and from every background and walk of life — and all too often, with deadly results."

Holder said Justice Department officials, including those in the Drug Enforcement Administration, and other federal, state and local leaders are working "aggressively" to keep heroin and other illicit drugs off the streets and bring traffickers to justice.

Since 2011, the DEA has opened more than 4,500 heroin-related investigations, Holder said, and as a result the amount of heroin seized along the country's southwest border with Mexico increased by more than 320 percent over the past five years.

Holder also said the DEA is expanding its education programs for pharmacists, doctors and other health-care providers and urging first responders to carry naloxone, a drug that when administered quickly can restore breathing to somebody suffering from a heroin overdose. Seventeen states and the District have amended their laws in recent years to increase access to naloxone, the Justice Department said.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
National News
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando
NDN Video
Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Broken Water Main Floods UCLA "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH)
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.