What to Know
- US AG Sessions spoke Thursday about the opioid and fentanyl crisis at the federal building in Concord, NH.
- Sessions previously made a surprise appearance at NH summit on opioid awareness for middle and high school students
- Sessions unveiled a task force in February to address the opioid crisis Thursday, he talked about "Operation Synthetic Opioid Surge."
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions made a stop in New Hampshire Thursday to talk to law enforcement leaders about the opioid epidemic.
"Today, we are facing most deadly crisis in America's history," Sessions said in a press conference at U.S. District Court in Concord.
He was in the Granite State to announce a new strategy in the war on drugs.
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"It's called, 'Operation Synthetic Opioid Surge,'" Sessions said.
He says New Hampshire has been identified as one of 10 opioid hotspots in the country, which means he'll be sending an additional federal prosecutor to the state to focus exclusively on synthetic drug cases.
"We are going to arrest, prosecute, and convict drug dealers, and we are going to put them in jail," Sessions said.
Meanwhile, outside the Federal Building, there was a sidewalk full of protesters.
"We are out here with a message that we cannot arrest our way out of the opioid crisis," said Ryan Fowler, who once struggled with addiction.
Most people were standing in support of the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion, saying that good health care is how to solve the drug epidemic.
"He's in there talking about increasing punitive measures, while my friends and family and loved ones are dying because they don't have access to treatment," Fowler said.
But Sessions says if this new Operation SOS strategy is effective, he's confident lives will be saved and that New Hampshire will start seeing fewer opioid related deaths by the end of the year.