President Obama Proclaims Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week - NBC 10 Philadelphia

President Obama Proclaims Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week

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    President Obama Proclaims Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week
    NBC10
    A young heroin user profiled in NBC10's Generation Addicted special report prepares to inject heroin in Philadelphia's Kensington neighborhood.

    As the deadly grip of the heroin and opioid addiction epidemic continues to hold in the Philadelphia region and across the nation, President Barack Obama last week declared this week, beginning Sunday, as Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week.

    President Obama officially proclaimed Sept. 18 through Sept. 24, 2016 Opioid Epidemic Awareness Week on Friday. White House officials said that as part of the week, Cabinet members and federal agencies will focus on working to address the epidemic across the U.S.

    The federal government has taken many measures recently aimed at combating the heroin and opioid epidemic by increasing funding for treatment, helping to make opioid overdose antidote naloxone more readily available to citizens and police officers, and urging doctors to take care in how they prescribe opioid painkillers.

    President Obama has called on Congress to approve $1.1 billion in new funding to fight the epidemic. That funding has not yet been approved.

    As part of Opioid Epidemic Awareness Week, the White House will host parents who have lost children to addiction, and U.S. Attorney's Offices throughout the country will participate in more than 160 different events, according to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

    NBC10 earlier this year aired and published Generation Addicted, an in-depth special report exploring the heroin and opioid epidemic in the Philadelphia region and beyond. Learn more about Generation Addicted here, and stay with NBC10.com and the NBC10 app for continuing coverage of the fight against addiction in our region.