Sessions says law enforcement plays critical role in opioid fight

July 13th, 2018 by admin Leave a reply »

Law enforcement has an important role to play in helping the nation respond to the opioid drug crisis, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Friday after a meeting in Portland with local law enforcement officials.

“Enforcement of drug laws is never more important than now,” Sessions said in a news conference at the U.S. Attorney’s Office. “We prescribe too many opioids in this country. It has contributed and led people to heroin and fentanyl and death.”

Sessions said the Trump administration’s goal is to reduce opioid prescribing by one-third in three years, but he did not provide any new details on how that would be accomplished.

Opioid prescribing has started to decline nationally and in Maine, according to federal statistics, with a 13 percent decrease in Maine in 2017 compared to an 8.9 percent drop nationally. Maine approved one of the strictest opioid prescribing laws in the nation, including limits on dosage and length of prescriptions that went into effect in 2017.

Sessions came to Portland to promote Operation Synthetic Opioid Surge, a crackdown announced Thursday on the misuse of opioids, which have fueled a crisis in Maine and across the nation.

“That’s a good Washington acronym, SOS,” Sessions said.

A news release about the initiative said that Maine would get an additional prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office to help on opioid cases, but other details were not released Friday, and Sessions did not take questions from the media.

“We will be relentless,” Sessions said. “We will sustain this effort.”

His visit attracted a

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