National Heroin and Opioid Awareness Week Announced

President Obama issued a proclamation last Friday designating Sept. 18-24 as Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week.

Lexington, Ky., is the focal point as the U.S. Department of Justice announced the first National Heroin and Opioid Awareness Week, designated as Sept. 18-23. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch will be in Lexington on Sept. 20 to hold a youth town hall, meet with parents who have lost children to overdoses and now belong to the Heroin Education Action Team (H.E.A.T.), and deliver a policy speech on how DOJ is addressing this issue.

DOJ has called it a "week of action" to raise awareness of drug overdoses and calls them a public health crisis.

"The heroin and opioid epidemic is one of the most urgent law enforcement and public health challenges facing our country," Lynch said. "Through National Heroin and Opioid Awareness Week, the Department of Justice seeks to raise awareness and prevent new victims from succumbing to addiction; to highlight the department's ongoing commitment to holding accountable traffickers and others responsible for this epidemic; and to help provide treatment to those grappling with addiction. To be successful in this important endeavor, we need the help of all our federal, tribal, state, and local partners. In the months ahead, we will continue working to erase this scourge from our communities and to ensure a brighter future for all Americans."

DOJ reported more than 70 U.S. attorneys have committed to doing more than 160 events around the country, and more than 90 events are planned at Bureau of Prison facilities, during the week.

President Obama issued a proclamation last Friday designating Sept. 18-24 as Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week.

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