Opiate addiction's 'heartbreaking toll' on veterans is focus of discussions
Stars and Stripes | .
published: September 20, 2016
WASHINGTON -- Veterans will be a focus of discussions this week about the opiate addiction epidemic in the United States, which has led to the deaths of tens of thousands in recent years.
Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week started Monday with President Barack Obama’s administration urging Congress to approve $1.1 billion in new funding to increase access to medication-assisted treatment for opiate addiction. Obama’s administration also released a list of events to be held this week about the issue.
“This epidemic we are in the grips of is taking a heartbreaking toll on too many Americans and their families,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch said during a telephone conference. “We have to have a concerted effort to deal with this.”
Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald will discuss the VA’s efforts Tuesday to assist veterans addicted to opiates. Associate Attorney General Bill Baer and Michael Botticelli, director of the White House National Drug Control Policy, will join McDonald in hosting a forum.