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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Officials Attend Prescription Opioid/Heroin Summit

The Midwest has been especially affected by the prescription opioid and heroin crisis that has been raging across the United States. Many lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have stepped up to address the insidious issue.

This week, U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade of Michigan met with attorneys general and law enforcement officials from six neighboring states to discuss heroin and prescription painkiller trafficking, The Detroit News reports. The state of Michigan has become a major trafficking route feeding the Midwestern states.

“We know in Michigan that we’ve seen a huge spike in prescription pill abuse and then we’ve also seen a serious resurgence in heroin as addicts turn to that as a cheaper alternative for their opioid addiction,” McQuade said. “So, that has resulted in some various significant problems in Michigan and we seem to exporting our problems to other states.” 

The summit was part of an initiative by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, according to the article. McQuade met with authorities from Ohio, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania. She pointed out that organized groups in Michigan and Ohio are selling their drugs as far as West Virginia.

“The epidemic of overdose deaths from heroin and prescription pill abuse is startling and needs to be met with an intense response by law enforcement,” she said. “This summit is intended to strengthen and better coordinate our efforts to disrupt heroin and pill trafficking across the region. We also seek to raise public awareness about addiction, treatment and prevention.”

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