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Families of overdose victims to meet with U.S. Attorney General in Lexington

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions addresses the California Peace Officers’ Association 26th Annual Law Enforcement Legislative Day, 7, 2018, in Sacramento, Calif.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions addresses the California Peace Officers’ Association 26th Annual Law Enforcement Legislative Day, 7, 2018, in Sacramento, Calif. AP

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions plans to meet families of overdose victims Thursday in Lexington and speak about the nation’s epidemic of addiction to painkillers called opioids.

Sessions is to speak at the office of U.S. Attorney Robert M. Duncan Jr. The Justice Department announced the event Tuesday.

Kentucky has among the highest levels of abuse of opioids in the nation. Opioids include prescription drugs such as oxycodone, and also heroin and fentanyl.

Opioids were to blame for two-thirds of the 63,632 drug-overdose deaths in the country in 2015, according to federal reports.

Rising abuse of the drugs helped drive Kentucky’s overdose-death toll to a record 1,404 in 2016.

Duncan’s office has had an initiative called the U.S. Attorney’s Heroin Education Action Team, or USA HEAT, to try to reduce abuse.

Session’s predecessor, Loretta Lynch, met with families active in the group in Lexington in September 2016 and also spoke at Madison Central High School and the University of Kentucky.

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