According to a news release from the United States Department of Justice, Attorney General Loretta Lynch will travel to Lexington, Ky. as Part of the Justice Department’s Awareness Campaign to address the rising public health crisis of drug addiction on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016.
The Obama Administration is announcing a “week of action” to raise awareness about the rising public health crisis caused by drug overdoses, according to reports. As part of this effort, the Department of Justice designated the week of Sept. 18-23, 2016, as National Heroin and Opioid Awareness Week. Senior Department of Justice officials, members of the President’s Cabinet and other federal agencies will hold events focused on the work being done to address the national prescription opioid and heroin epidemic.
Lynch will travel to Lexington, Ky. on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016, to hold a youth town hall at a local high school; meet with parents who have lost their children due to overdoses and now belong to the Heroin Education Action Team (H.E.A.T.); and deliver a policy speech regarding the actions and resources the Justice Department is bringing to bear on this issue.
In a recent statement, Lynch said the heroin and opioid epidemic is among the most urgent challenges in the United States.
“The heroin and opioid epidemic is one of the most urgent law enforcement and public health challenges facing our country,”Lynch said. “Through National Heroin and Opioid Awareness Week, the Department of Justice seeks to raise awareness and prevent new victims from succumbing to addiction; to highlight the department’s ongoing commitment to holding accountable traffickers and others responsible for this epidemic; and to help provide treatment to those grappling with addiction. To be successful in this important endeavor, we need the help of all our federal, tribal, state and local partners. In the months ahead, we will continue working to erase this scourge from our communities and to ensure a brighter future for all Americans.”
Greenup County Sheriff Keith Cooper said, he is glad that Attorney General Lynch is coming, but wished it had been sooner.
“I am glad that Attorney General Lynch is making a visit to Kentucky, better late than never,” Cooper said. “I think that everyone around here knows that we have been trying to make our voices heard on the need for assistance to deal with overwhelming heroin and opiate problems that we have, and it is mostly heroin. I am really glad that the Federal Government is taking part in it, I really am. There were times when we were seeking funding to keep this problem from going to the magnitude which it has, but any type of the assistance from the Federal Government is greatly appreciated. I hope that they come in and stay, and help us out as much as possible with the problem.”
Bobby Carpenter, Greenup County Judge Executive, said the problem in their county is real.
“We have a problem, and it is a problem that I don’t have to deal directly with everyday, but anything that they can come in here and to do help we greatly appreciate,” Carpenter said. “What I read, and what I see. it is bigger than what you can imagine.”
Reach Portia Williams at 740-464-3862, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.