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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Georgia

Friday, September 16, 2016

Prescription Opioid and Heroin Awareness Week September 19-26, 2016

Attorney General Loretta Lynch has designated the week of September 19-23, 2016 as Prescription Opioid and Heroin Awareness Week.  The prescription opioid and heroin epidemic has taken a heartbreaking toll on too many Americans and their families, while straining resources of law enforcement and treatment programs.

More Americans now die every year from drug overdoses than they do in motor vehicle crashes—and most of those involve prescription opioids or heroin.  Some of the commonly abused drugs are codeine cough syrup, heroin, fentanyl, hydrocodone, methadone, and oxycodone.

The President has made clear that addressing the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic is a priority for his Administration, and has proposed to invest $1.1 billion in new funding to make sure that every American with an opioid use disorder who seeks treatment can get care.

Federal agencies will continue to use all available tools to combat this epidemic.  States and communities are also working to save lives through innovative partnerships between public safety and public health.

Recovery from opioid and other substance use disorders is possible, and many Americans are able to recover because they get the treatment and care they need. But too many still are not able to get treatment. That’s why the President has called on Congress to provide the resources needed to ensure that every American with an opioid use disorder who wants treatment can get it and start the road to recovery.

We all have a role to play in turning the tide of this epidemic. Talk with your teens about the consequences of using prescription and over-the-counter drugs for non-medical uses; follow disposal guidelines on unused medicines; lock up powerful medications in a safe place other than your medicine cabinet; count your pills when you receive them and periodically check to see how many are in the container. 

During Prescription Opioid and Heroin Awareness Week, Americans can learn more about the disease of addiction, join with community members to support evidence-based prevention and treatment programs, and stand with those suffering from a substance use disorder or in recovery—to let them know they are not alone.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia has copies of a documentary called “Chasing the Dragon”.  The video was produced by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Drug Enforcement Administration.  It is a resource for law enforcement, educators, and parents to educate young people on how opiate addiction destroys lives.  If you would like to show the video to an audience, contact Pamela Lightsey at 478-621-2603 or

For more information about the current heroin and opioid addiction epidemic, go to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s website at

Community Outreach
Prescription Drugs
Updated September 16, 2016