Attorney General Sessions visits Tampa, discusses opioid crisis

Last Updated: Wednesday, February 07, 2018, 2:10 PM EST

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was in Tampa Bay area today to discuss efforts on combating drug trafficking and opioid abuse.

  • Jeff Sessions spoke Wednesday afternoon in Tampa
  • He thanked local law enforcement for drug fighting efforts
  • AG said more Americans are dying because of drugs "than ever before"

During his Wednesday afternoon remarks, Sessions said one person dies every nine minutes from a drug overdose.

"2016 saw 64,000 Americans die of drug overdoses," Sessions said.

In October, President Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency.

Sessions said the administration is targeting online offenders and opioid "hot spot" districts.

"More Americans are dying because of drugs than ever before," Sessions said. "We have never seen anything like this."

Sessions more than once thanked local law enforcement for their efforts in fighting the drug problem.

"We have your back," he said. "You have our thanks."

Gov. Rick Scott has proposed four measures targeting the problem, including stopping doctors from prescribing more than three days worth of opioids and expanding the access to a prescription drug database.

Spectrum News reporter Trevor Pettiford will have more on this story during our later newscasts.