Justice Department to send federal prosecutor to Maryland to aid opioid fight (WJZ)

The Justice Department announced a new plan Wednesday to dispatch a federal prosecutor to Maryland and other areas hit hard by drug misuse. Attorney General Jeff Sessions calls it the Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit.

The plan will work in conjunction with a data program, focusing on finding those who are illegally distributing prescription drugs.

Sessions unveiled the program, which would put 12 federal prosecutors in areas with high overdose rates, including Baltimore, to investigate and prosecute opioid scams like physicians and others running pill mills as well as health care fraud."We must create a culture that is hostile to drug abuse," Sessions said.

Read the entire statement

Related Stories

Dr. Leana Wen Is Leaving BCHD to Lead Planned Parenthood (WYPR)

As a patient advocate and an emergency physician, Dr. Wen has led the Baltimore City Health Department since January 2015. She has devoted her career to expanding access to health care for low income communities, reducing health disparities, and finding innovative solutions to some of the most challenging public health problems today, from opioid abuse and teen pregnancy to the epidemic of gun violence.

Listen to the segment.

The youngest victims of the opioid epidemic (Axios)

In a video covering the opioid epidemic and highlighting babies born with withdrawal symptoms, Dr. Wen addresses another issue in combatting the crisis.

"When addiction seemed to affect poor people of color in inner cities, it was seen as a moral failing - a choice. Unless we address these deep rooted issues, we’re not going to make progress in treating addiction as the disease that we know it to be."

Watch the video here.

 

It's Time To Go Further to End the Opioid Crisis (The American Prospect)

The rising death toll is a warning that Congress and the White House need to take more decisive action. If they can’t, or won’t, Americans should turn to the courts.

Read the entire story.