Aronberg to head up national initiative on opioid abuse

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Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg will lead a national group of prosecutors to develop policy proposals focused on the opioid crisis.

Aronberg, a former state senator who once served as Attorney General Pam Bondi’s drug czar, will chair the Working Group of the National District Attorneys Association, according to a press release issued by his office this morning.

From the press release:

The goal of the Working Group is to develop the first national policy document from prosecutors with proposals to address the opioid crisis aimed at federal, state and local policymakers.  The final product, which is expected to be released in May, will include best practices from local jurisdictions and recommendations on prevention, criminal investigations, enforcement and rehabilitation.

“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,” said Aronberg.  “More Americans died from drug overdoses in 2016 than were killed in the Vietnam War,” said Aronberg, noting that “opioids in particular present unique challenges to communities scrambling to respond to this growing scourge.”

State Attorney Aronberg, who previously served as the Florida Attorney General’s “Drug Czar,” currently leads a Task Force in Palm Beach County that has targeted fraud and abuse in the drug treatment industry.  The Task Force has made 42 arrests in the past year for patient brokering and has led to changes in Florida law to toughen penalties and tighten regulation over the drug rehab industry.

Aronberg added that “prosecutors and law enforcement have been on the front lines of this fight to save lives and protect our communities from the ravages of drug abuse, so it’s fitting that the NDAA has taken a leadership role on this issue.”