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Sessions talks tough about tackling nation's opioid epidemic at summit in Miami

MiamiHerald / As an opioid epidemic scars the nation, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions traveled from Tampa to Key West to Miami this week to declare a new war on drugs — one intended to stop the deadly toll of addictive painkillers, heroin and fentanyl in Florida and other ravaged states.

Sessions acknowledged at a South Florida opioid summit on Thursday that the battle will be far different from the one carried out against the Colombian cartels and cocaine cowboys of the violent Miami Vice era.

Sessions told a gathering of law enforcement, public health and military officials at the U.S. Southern Command in Doral that the fight must be waged in the community, on the internet and in foreign countries such as Mexico and China. In those countries, clandestine labs send opioids, methamphetamine and other unlawful drugs through the U.S. mail and courier services to both traffickers and users.

“We all got to figure out how we’re going to change,” Sessions said Thursday morning, before leading the closed-door opioid summit at the Southern Command. “It cannot be business as usual. … It hasn’t been effective. Things have changed, and we have to change.”

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