The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency is targeting opioid abuse in Appalachia by establishing a new field office in Kentucky to oversee a region ravaged by overdose deaths.
Acting DEA Administrator Robert Patterson says the new Louisville field office will have a special agent in charge to oversee investigations in Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia. The agency says the new office will enhance efforts in the Appalachian mountain region and streamline drug trafficking investigations under a single office. D. Christopher Evans, an associate agent in charge in the DEA's Detroit field office, will lead the new Louisville office.
Overdose deaths were 65 percent higher among residents in Appalachia than in the rest of the country in 2015, a recent Appalachian Regional Commission study found.