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Holder: Heroin abuse 'urgent and growing'

Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday described the increase in heroin abuse in the United States as an “urgent and growing” health crisis.

In a weekly video message, he described a series of enforcement and treatment steps the Justice Department is taking to combat the rise.

Heroin related deaths spiked by 45 percent from 2006 to 2010, Holder said. 

He described the sharp spike as a result of prescription opiate addiction.

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“The transition to and the increase in heroin abuse is a sad but not unpredictable symptom of the significant increase in prescription drug abuse that we’ve seen over the past decade,” he said in the video.

He said the Justice Department is fighting back “very aggressively.”

He said the Justice Department is working with state and local partners to cut off illegal opiate sales at all levels of the supply chain.

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