Holder: U.S. Needs "Balanced Approach" on Heroin - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Holder: U.S. Needs "Balanced Approach" on Heroin

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Attorney General Eric Holder says the government needs to deal differently with the heroin epidemic than it did with the crack cocaine crisis decades ago.
 
Holder told a Senate committee Thursday that a "balanced approach" involving treatment, education and enforcement is needed to confront the country's heroin crisis and avoid mistakes made during the widespread use of crack. Police at that time focused on large-scale arrests and imprisonment.
 
Holder says the government has a small window to prevent the heroin problem from getting "even more out of control than it already is." He says specialize drug courts within the criminal justice system are a good way to reduce the prison population.
 
In a recent video message, the attorney general called the heroin epidemic an "urgent and growing public health crisis."   

Meanwhile, The government is taking a step to let friends or loved ones treat someone they suspect has overdosed on heroin or powerful painkillers called opioids, while they're waiting on medical care.
 
The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved an overdose antidote that doctors could prescribe for family members or caregivers to keep on hand, in a pocket or medicine cabinet. Called Evzio, it's a device that automatically injects the right dose of the drug naloxone, a long-used antidote for opioid overdoses.
 
Nalaxone has been a mainstay of overdose treatment for years, usually administered by syringe in ambulances or emergency rooms. But with the rise in drug overdose deaths, there has been a growing push to equip more people with the protection as well.  (AP)

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