TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Deaths from heroin, pain pills called 'urgent,' growing' crisis

Daily Photo Galleries

By From Wire and Staff Reports
Monday, March 10, 2014, 6:54 p.m.
 

Attorney General Eric Holder said the rise in deaths from overdoses of heroin and prescription painkillers are an “urgent and growing public health crisis,” in 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 released early on 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 the DEA is expanding its education programs for pharmacists and doctors, and urging first responders to carry naloxone, a drug that when administered quickly, can restore breathing to somebody suffering from a heroin overdose.

In Western Pennsylvania, authorities blamed a mix of heroin and the powerful painkiller fentanyl for causing two dozen drug overdose deaths this year. Some of the stamp bags of the combinations were labeled “Theraflu” and “Income Tax” and “Bud Ice.”Most of the deaths occurred between Jan. 4 and Jan. 29.

The victims predominantly were white men between the ages of 24 and 51, but the group had women and minorities, and city-dwellers and suburbanites.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Federal Highway Trust Fund running on empty
  2. Police to Waze: Not so fast on cop tracker, which they say makes it harder to catch speeders
  3. Treasure hunter accused of swindling investors captured
  4. Number of children on food stamps hits 6-year high
  5. Arkansas rejects proposal to celebrate Gen. Lee, MLK on different days
  6. DEA says scanning of license plates near gun shows off
  7. N.D. didn’t inspect pipe before rupture
  8. Deadly fire in Maryland started in faulty electrical outlet, spread to Christmas tree
  9. Poll finds most Americans want health insurance subsidies restored if Supreme Court votes against Obamacare provision
  10. Girl’s fatal shooting by Denver officers prompts review of policy
  11. Prosecutors fight new try to relocate Boston trial