Obama pushing plan to battle opioid and heroin abuse

The Justice Department has released new directives for law enforcement

President Obama
AP photo

WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBS News) – President Obama is pushing a new plan to fight the deadly heroin and opioid addiction affecting so many American families.

With the heroin and opioid epidemic killing almost 100 Americans every day, the Obama administration is now renewing its strategy to fight the public health crisis.

According to USA Today, the Justice Department plan calls for law enforcement to:

  • Identify links between over-prescribing doctors *and* distribution networks across the country.
  • Prosecutors are being urged to more readily share information across state lines.

“The only way that we can reduce demand is if we can provide treatment and treat this as a health problem, not just a criminal problem,” President Obama said.

President Obama’s plan comes as opioid deaths, whether caused by pain pills or heroin, jumped 372-percent from 2001 to 2014. West Virginia, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Kentucky, and Ohio had America’s five deadliest rates.

The Justice Department directive will reportedly be sent to all U.S. Attorney offices next week.

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