U.S. AG's new push to fight opioid epidemic

U.S AG's new push to fight opioid epidemic

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Kentucky is in the national spotlight tonight after the U.S. Attorney General appeared in the Commonwealth to announce a new push to fight the opioid epidemic. President Obama declared this a week to raise awareness of the issues.

Her comments in Central Kentucky focused on the President’s 3-pronged plan to fight the growing problem that has been highlighted by a recent rash of overdoses here in Kentuckiana.

“You know when someone is changing. You know when someone is going down a different road, and we need you to look out for each other and we need you to look out for yourselves,” U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said.

At this stop, there was a heavy push on prevention and awareness including speeches from the mother of a young man who died of a heroin overdose and a man who went from playing college baseball to shooting up under a bridge in six months.

“Number 1, if you’ve got addiction in your family, then you’re at risk and you’re more likely to have problems with drugs and alcohol. Number 2, if you suffer from anxiety or depression, like I do, you’re more likely to have a problem with drugs and alcohol. You see addiction is possible for any of you all but recovery is possible too. You can recover you just have to ask for help,” Alex, a recovering addict, said.

A question and answer session with the nation’s highest law enforcement official is not something you would expect to see at Madison Central High School, but U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch chose this community because she said it’s the same type of community those pushing the epidemic are preying upon.

Later, she gave a policy speech at UK announcing she had penned a letter to every U.S. governor asking them to join in the effort.

There will be resources to states expanding prescription drug monitoring programs aimed at preventing so-called doctor shopping and overuse of prescribed pharmaceuticals.

Lynch pointed out that abuse of prescription painkillers out is what leads many to get hooked on heroin and opioids.

“You’ve got a role in this effort. First of all, we want you to understand the issues. We want you to understand how serious it is and we want to give you the information to make good choices in your own life. We also, we need you to look out for each other because, I will tell you, as a parent, my kid's friends know so much more about what happens on a day to day basis in their lives than I do,” Lynch said.

You can read the entire letter written by the Attorney General to all U.S. governors below:


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