Local & Regional News
2:18 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Drug Czar: 'Treat Addiction as Public Health Issue'

R. Gil Kerlikowske addressed an Arkansas forum today regarding the dangers of prescription drug abuse.
R. Gil Kerlikowske addressed an Arkansas forum today regarding the dangers of prescription drug abuse.
Credit WhiteHouse.gov

The director of the nation's drug policy office says treatment and education are the most effective tools to combat drug abuse. 

Drug czar R. Gil Kerlikowske said Thursday in Little Rock that law enforcement is also part of the equation but said addressing addiction as a public health issue is the main focus of his mission.

Kerlikowske told about 700 people gathered for a state conference on prescription drug abuse that abuse rates nationally are showing some improvement.

But he also said addiction is a multi-faceted problem that requires many different actions to develop solutions. Kerlikowske noted that heroin abuse is on the rise and young people often don't understand its dangers.