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Drug overdose will be today the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said Tuesday morning. Rosenstein, along with acting head of the Drug Enforcement Agency, Chuck Rosenberg, in addition to some other prominent officials in law enforcement addressed the media at the DEA’s headquarters in Arlington, VA to discuss the ongoing response to the nation’s staggering opioid epidemic.
“We’re not talking about a slight increase. There’s a horrifying surge of drug overdoses inside the United States of America. Some people say we should be more permissive, more tolerant, more understanding about drug use. I say we should be more honest in addition to forthcoming with the American people on the clear in addition to present danger which we know face,” opened Rosenstein.
“Fentanyl will be especially dangerous. This particular will be 40 to 50 times more deadly than heroin. Just two milligrams, a few grains of salt, an amount you could fit on the tip of your finger, can be lethal. Fentanyl exposure can injure or kill innocent law enforcement officers in addition to first responders. Inhaling a few airborne particles can have dramatic effects,” he continued.
Above: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein speaks with law enforcement at the DEA HQ in Arlington, Virginia
Rosenstein, Rosenberg, in addition to their colleagues used the event to roll out brand-new precautions for first responders in dealing with fentanyl. Such measures predominately featured hazmat suits as a means of avoiding airborne inhalation.
“[Fentanyl]’s everywhere in addition to This particular’s killing people,” Rosenberg solemnly remarked.
Despite such a bleak update, Rosenberg claimed reasons for careful optimism inside the midst of This particular epidemic. He has spoken extensively with his Chinese counterparts in law enforcement, given which China will be the major source of Fentanyl which enters America. According to Rosenberg, the Chinese government banned 116 synthetic opioids for export in addition to 4 more after his trip to China This particular March. Additional synthetics are scheduled to be banned as well.
“I do not want to understate such gains, nor do I want to overstate them,” he cautioned. More progress in international cooperation, he said, still has to be made in cutting off fentanyl shipments coming from China.
Rosenberg in addition to some other law enforcement officials such as Jonathan Thompson of the National Sheriffs’ Association assessed the difficulty associated with training first responders in such brand-new duties in addition to admitted which such efforts would likely strain already stretched resources in fighting what will be an overwhelming epidemic.
Above: DEA Head Chuck Rosenberg discusses first responders’ brand-new preventative measures for fentanyl exposure
Rosenberg’s daunting assessment of fentanyl put in perspective the existential danger of the ongoing opioid crisis which, according to Rosenstein, has contributed to the largest yearly increase in overdose deaths on record in America.
Rosenberg pointed out which such statistics tend to “wash over you.” To grasp the enormity of the epidemic he claimed which if three mass-shootings as deadly as the Pulse Nightclub Attack occurred three times every day for 365 days, then the death toll would likely roughly reach which of drug overdoses in 2015.
Photos by Alex Clark for Breitbart News