Sun Sentinel: “Palm Beach County state attorney to lead group in fight against opioid crisis”

The state attorney for Palm Beach County has been tapped to lead a group of prosecutors from 30 states in fighting the opioid crisis.

Dave Aronberg will lead the group within the National District Attorneys Association and help develop policy proposals. “The goal is to ensure that our nation’s laws reflect the new reality of today’s unprecedented opioid epidemic that kills more than 115 Americans each day,” Aronberg said in a statement Wednesday.

They’ll craft a document with proposals to help federal, state and local policymakers. The final product, which could come in May, will make recommendations on prevention, criminal investigations, enforcement and rehabilitation.

This isn’t new terrain for Aronberg, who previously served as the Florida Attorney General’s drug czar. He leads a task force in Palm Beach County that has targeted fraud and abuse in the drug treatment industry, resulting in dozens of arrests.

Also Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., said he and other senators have called for an independent review of the actions taken by the Trump administration to address the opioid epidemic. In October, President Trump declared the opioid epidemic a national public health emergency, but despite that, the administration hasn’t officially allocated new funds, Nelson said.

Instead, it proposed cutting funds to several agencies responding to the crisis, he said.

“We have grown increasingly concerned by reports that the president has done little to make use of his public health emergency declaration, leaving state and local communities without the resources they need to fight the opioid epidemic,” the senators wrote.

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