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Heroin Uptick In Mass. Sparks National Reaction

Credit Psychonaught/Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

A recent surge in heroin overdoses in Taunton, Massachusetts has shed light on an epidemic that has plagued the state and nation.

Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Edward Markey and White House Drug Policy Director Gil Kerlikowske met with local officials, first responders and parents of addicts at the Taunton Central Fire Station on Monday to discuss how to attack the issue.

Participants agreed that treatment and preventative care should be the main focus. Kerlikowske says arresting users will not solve the problem.

Officials reported two heroin overdoses in Taunton on Monday, adding to the more than 60 that had occurred so far this year, including five deaths.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says prescription drug and heroin fatalities in the U.S. surpass homicides and traffic deaths.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Jim is WAMC’s Associate News Director and hosts WAMC's flagship news programs: Midday Magazine, Northeast Report and Northeast Report Late Edition. Email: jlevulis@wamc.org
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