Sessions calls opioid deaths “unprecedented,” during Grapevine speech

GRAPEVINE -- The battle over opioid addiction has gripped the country.

“This danger and the deaths we are seeing is unprecedented in the history of the republic,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on Tuesday. “It has become an epidemic today and is taking an unprecedented number of American lives.”

Sessions spoke during a conference for the group, D.A.R.E, Drug Abuse Resistance Education, at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine,  Tuesday afternoon.

“In 1983 when D.A.R.E was founded in Los Angeles, D.A.R.E became fundamental for our success by educating children to the dangers of drug use. I firmly believe that your work saved lives.”

Opioid addiction is no joke. the CDC says in 2015, more than 30,000 people died from opioid overdoses. half of those were from prescription pain pills.

“Based on preliminary data, 2016, it appears that we’ve lost over 60 thousand lives to drug overdose. That’s unprecedented in our country,” Sessions said.

The attorney general said this is a problem he doesn't take lightly and he said the Department of Justice has taken steps to help put an end to an epidemic.

“This department of justice will hold you accountable for such illegal activities. I believe that will prevent drug abuse, prevent new addictions from starting and save lives.”