RALEIGH, NC (WTVD) -- U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced several new initiatives on Tuesday to combat opioid abuse, a crisis he calls "the deadliest" in American history.
Before a crowd of dozens of North Carolina local and state public officials, Sessions reiterated several key facts about opioids in the United States: 42,000 Americans killed in 2016 - five times the number 17 years ago.
"We know that our mission is not hopeless. Difficult, but not hopeless," Sessions said. "Together we can break the vicious cycle of drug abuse, addiction, and overdose that has devastated countless American families."
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Specifically, Sessions announced proposals that would give the Drug Enforcement Agency the ability to better monitor prescription data shared by more than 48 states, including North Carolina. The DEA could also potentially limit production for a company suspected of illicit practices.
"We're not going to accept the status quo," Sessions added. "We will not allow this to continue. Business as usual is over."
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Also Tuesday, the U.S. Attorney for Eastern District of North Carolina announced the conviction of Donovan Dave Dixon, a Fayetteville doctor accused of unlawfully distributing oxycodone not for legitimate medical purposes in exchange for cash.
In Raleigh, Sessions wants 30 percent cut in opioid prescriptions