Attorney General Sessions Speaks to Kids at Opioid Awareness Summit in NH, Says Substance Abuse Prevention and Education are the Answers
Manchester, New Hampshire – On Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions made a surprise visit to a summit on opioid awareness for middle and high school students. He told the students that battling the increasing rates of addiction in the U.S. requires prevention, education, and cracking down on drug traffickers.
As he spoke, he described how drug use has increased, and how the “cities were filled with heroin addicts” back in the 1980’s. He attributed the fall of drug use and crime to prevention and education.
“We can turn the tide against drugs and addiction again in America just like we did…Drug use will fall. Lives will be saved. Less money will be going into cartels and the drugs gangs, weakening them.”
He emphasized that prevention was just as important now as states such as New Hampshire are fighting a surge in opioid abuse. Indeed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, overdose deaths deaths from heroin and prescription opioids in the U.S. have increased by one-third in the last five years. In New Hampshire alone, that increase approximated 191%.
“A lot of people still don’t realize how addictive prescription drugs can be. These drugs are powerful, and opioid addiction can take hold quickly. Too many teens and adults have overdosed, and the road ahead for people fighting addiction is so tough.”
In the future, he said that the government will continue to focus on curbing excessive prescriptions in the U.S., as well as drug couriers who traffic drugs into the country.
“Criminal enforcement is essential to stopping the transnational organizations which ship drugs into our country in huge amounts and to stop the thugs and gangs who use violence and extortion to move their products.
He noted that treatment is also critical, but most often is introduced long after addicts have lost their jobs and families.
“For many, addiction can be a death sentence. I’ve seen families spend all their saving and retirement money on treatment programs to try to help their children just to see sometimes those programs fail. It is so heartbreaking.”
~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology