Attorney General #Jeff Sessions has announced the #justice department is launching an opioid fraud and abuse detection unit in hopes of combatting the opioid crisis. The unit will focus on identifying and prosecuting individuals who are contributing to the growing epidemic in the United States. Prosecutors will work with the FBI, DEA, HHS, along with state law enforcement to prosecute doctors, medical providers, and pharmacies who are contributing to the growing crisis.

Epidemic

All across America in recent years opioid use and addiction as grown at an alarming rate, each year taking more lives. It is estimated that over 56,000 people last year alone died from an opioid overdose.

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Opioid abuse includes prescription drugs, painkillers, and heroin. The United States has had a history of opioid abuse in the past but with the birth of OxyContin in 1996, addiction rates and deaths have climbed to record numbers. According to Dr, Tom Frieden, CDC Director, wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine, "we know of no other medication routinely used for a nonfatal condition that kills patients so frequently."

The effect of opioid abuse has affected millions of people in the country. #Law Enforcement Agencies and first responders are being trained to use and carry Narcan in many states. Narcan, an opioid reversing drug, which is used for when someone has overdosed. Narcan is potentially a life-saving drug for many addicts. Norcan is used when a person is breathing slowly and won't stay awake.

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It reverses the effects of the opioid drugs and can reverse an overdose if used in time. Narcan can be administered through injection or by nasal spray.

Overdoses

Opioid addiction and usage not only affects the user but it affects everyone involved. Children are overdosing on drugs found at home or at family and friends houses. Children as young as one have overdosed and have been saved by Narcan. Not all children are as lucky as in the case of 10- year- old Alton Banks. Banks overdosed and died June 23 in Miami, Florida. Toxicology reports show that Alton Banks had heroin and fentanyl in his system when he died. Miami- Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle is investigating how this can happen to a child and where did he get the drugs that lead to his death. Alton Banks is one of Florida's youngest victim in the nation's opioid crisis.

The White House Commission has asked President Trump to declare a "national emergency" on the opioid epidemic allowing Congress to take action. The Commission has also recommended expanding Medicaid for drug treatment, increasing drugs for the opioid disorder, developing non-opioid pain medication, improving and expanding good Samaritan that prevents prosecution for reporting a drug overdose and making it mandatory for all law enforcement agencies and first responders to carry Narcan at all times.