Program to Tackle Heroin and Opioid Abuse Launched at Local Colleges

By City News Service

Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles Tuesday announced the launch of a community program to tackle the growing epidemic of heroin and prescription opioid abuse.

Over the coming weeks and months, law enforcement and public health officials will present programs and panel discussions at Occidental College in Eagle Rock, Cal State Los Angeles and Chapman University in Orange to highlight the impact opiates have on individuals and families.

“The increased use of heroin and opioids has infected communities from coast to coast and in many neighborhoods within our district,” said Eileen M. Decker, the U.S. attorney in Los Angeles.

“Prosecutors in my office have targeted drug traffickers who import heroin and doctors who issue prescriptions for addictive painkillers without any medical purpose,” she said. “We are working with our law enforcement colleagues to develop new strategies to investigate drug trafficking

organizations that import and distribute opioids and heroin (and) to better track prescription drugs that may be diverted to street users.”

Law enforcement agencies throughout the country are seizing record amounts of heroin and other opioids, said John S. Comer, U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency special agent in charge.

“DEA will continue to target the illicit trafficking organizations responsible for these detriments, but we’re also committed to educating the public about the dangers of drug misuse and reducing demand — awareness is a crucial element in combating this epidemic,” he said.

Beginning this week, federal prosecutors will be joined by DEA agents, expert physicians and public health officials on local campuses.

The events are designed to educate students on the dangers of prescription drugs, the presence of counterfeit drugs and what to do in the event of a potential overdose.

 

Participants will be able to view excerpts from the FBI-produced film

“Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opioid Addict,” which is available on YouTube and illustrates the harsh reality of opioid addiction.

Prosecutors hope to bring the program to other campuses across the region and welcome input from the public on what more the Justice Department can do to combat the problem, Decker said.

 

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October 6, 2016  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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