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US Attorney General: Opioid Crisis America's 'Top Lethal Issue'

  • VOA News

FILE - Attorney General Jeff Sessions waits to make a statement at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection office in Washington, March 6, 2017.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the opioid crisis America's "top lethal issue" Tuesday, saying that a "comprehensive antidote" was needed to address the crisis.

Speaking from the National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children national conference in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Sessions thanked the audience for their work in making the crisis' effects on children known.

“Our country, despite the record deaths, I don’t think has fully recognized the damage this addiction nightmare is doing to us," he said. "And as you understand this epidemic is taking a heavy toll on the most innocent and vulnerable — our children. And yet, in the national conversation about drug abuse, these children are too often forgotten.”

Sessions said that the solution has "three-pillars" — prevention, enforcement, and treatment. Sessions added that the prevention step in particular had been discussed at a meeting with top officials, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly the day before.

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump vowed that the U.S. would "win" the battle against the heroin and opioid plague, but he stopped short of declaring a national emergency as his handpicked commission had recommended.

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