Chelsea IrizarryOct 27, 2017, 8:52 pmOct 30, 2017, 3:47 pm

Special heroin task force to be stationed on Long Island to tackle opioid crisis

Lawmaker secures $12.5M in federal funding for Drug Enforcement Agency group

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LONG BEACH — Just a day after President Donald Trump declared a national health emergency, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was at John F. Kennedy International Airport Friday to promote "National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day."

“To confront a crisis on this scale, we must take a comprehensive approach to the problem. We’ve got to approve prevention, enforcement and treatment. If we fail to act on any one of those principles, then we can’t fix the problem,” Sessions said.

The attorney general’s visit came as Sen. Charles Schumer announced that New York is getting an "A-Team" to help tackle the opioid crisis. Sen. Schumer secured $12.5 million in federal funding for the Drug Enforcement Agency.

The DEA will provide New York State with a special heroin enforcement team and one of the special teams will be stationed on Long Island.

The new enforcement groups will be sent to states that report heroin as the highest drug threat. In making the case for New York, Sen. Schumer said that numbers speak for themselves.

According to reports, in 2016, Nassau County saw around 190 deaths related to opioid overdoses, and Suffolk County saw over 300 deaths. The New York team will consist of two new DEA agents and two officers from an existing task force.

Sen. Schumer said:

"I helped deliver the funds the DEA needed to create these teams because we are in urgent need of help and a special heroin enforcement team will lend a major hand in the fight to end the opioid scourge.,"

The location of the Long Island enforcement team has yet to be determined.

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