November 29, 2017 / 4:32 PM / 10 months ago

U.S. to open office, award grants in opioid fight

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department said Wednesday it was launching a Drug Enforcement Administration field office in the Appalachian region at the center of the opioid crisis and would issue $12 million in grant funding to help assist law enforcement.

FILE PHOTO: Needles used for shooting heroin and other opioids along with other paraphernalia litter the ground in a park in the Kensington section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Charles Mostoller

The announcement, made jointly by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Acting DEA Administrator Robert Patterson, marked the Justice Department’s latest move to get a handle on the growing opioid epidemic.

In addition to the grants and creation of a Louisville, Kentucky-based DEA office, Sessions also directed U.S. Attorney’s offices to designate a coordinator to facilitate opioid-related cases.

Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Andrew Hay

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