Attorney General Sessions meets with families affected by opioids

03/15/2018 05:50 PM

LEXINGTON- Attorney General Jeff Sessions was in Lexington Thursday speaking with family members who are affected from the opioid epidemic.

Sessions held a roundtable discussion with ten local families to hear about their experiences and insights on how to put an end to the crisis. Kentucky has been hit especially hard with opioid epidemic, seeing 1,400 overdoses last year— the fifth highest overdose death rate in the country. Nearly half of those deaths were a result of fentanyl; and one third involved heroin .

Sessions spoke of the numbers directly in Fayette County. Saying the numbers of heroin related overdose deaths more than doubled in just three years.

“In 2017, Lexington-area paramedics used Narcan—which is an opioid reversal drug—every single day of the year. On an average day. they used it on seven different people,” Sessions said.

Sessions mentioned the success of the Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit, which focuses on preventing opioid-related healthcare fraud.

“As part of this intiative, I have assigned a dozen experienced prosecutors in opioid hot-spot districts to focus solely on investigating and prosecuting opioid-related health care fraud. I have sent these prosecutors to where they are especially needed, including Eastern Kentucky,” he said.

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes responded to the Attorney General’s visit to Lexington by pushing for Medical Marijuana.

“If Attorney General Sessions really wants to help end the opioid crisis, he would join in helping Kentucky legalize medical cannabis. In states where it is legal, deaths from opioid overdoses have fallen by 25 percent. Kentucky patients need an alternative to the addictive prescription opioids ravaging our state and killing our people. Medical cannabis has proven to be both an alternative and a revenue producer,” said in a statement.

Sessions was in Louisville at the end of January discussing the epidemic in the state as well.

Michon Lindstrom

Michon is a producer for Pure Politics. Michon comes to Kentucky from Springfield, Illinois where she served as the statehouse reporter for the NBC affiliate. During her time in the Land of Lincoln she covered the state’s two year budget impasse and the largest school funding overall in Illinois history. Pure Politics airs weeknights at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Michon on Twitter at @MichonLindstrom or reach her by email at michon.lindstrom@charter.com

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