Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Thursday more than $60 million in new grants to combat the drug crisis, capping off a week of federal action on the issue.
The Justice Department will also establish an Appalachian regional prescription opioid strike force, Sessions said, which will be responsible for targeting doctors illicitly prescribing opioid painkillers for profit as part of so-called pill mills.
Sessions’s announcement came as a part of his opening remarks at the DOJ’s first National Opioid Summit, a convocation of law-enforcement leaders and activists to assess the current state of the opioid crisis. As Sessions noted, the most recent figures from the Center for Disease Control indicate that some 72,000 people died from drug overdoses in 2017, the highest rate in almost 40 years.
Sessions contended that total overdose deaths fell slightly between September 2017 and February of 2018, indicating that the crisis might be abating thanks to on-going policy efforts.
Read more at the Washington Free Beacon.