tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN August 14, 2015 7:00pm-8:01pm EDT
as communities and law enforcement struggled with overdose death, heroine used increased in trafficking it's important to know that they had easy access to diverted opiate is. approximately 18 billion opiate pills were dispensed in 2012, this is enough to give every american 18 years and older 75 pain pills. they indicate 95% of opiate users do not use heroine four out of five heroin users have used it nonmedically.
we'll heroine is traditionally regarded as an issue facing large urban areas, where seen a chip in the demographic of heron use. increasing heroin use, overdose deaths and their consequences are being seen in suburban and small-town america. a recent cbc study showed that heroin use rate remands highest among males. heroin use is doubling among women than among non-hispanic whites. we also know that o and dcp has used its rolled and scored nadir of the federal drug agent to show their support for substance abuse prevention efforts and coordinate in 2011 the administration plan to address the opiate joint misuse was released. this plan contained action items categorized for education, increased drug monitoring
programs, and law enforcement efforts. recently recently the administration convened that congressionally mandated interagency heroine cochaired by owen d.c. more closely examined by the administration's efforts and what more we can do. we have seen overdose from prescription or leveled off but it has been coupled with an increase in overdose deaths. to address the overdosed us we have been working to increase first responders and individuals close to those with opiate drug disorders. hand-in-hand with these efforts, our efforts to promote its merits and laws so witnesses to an overdose can take steps to help save lives. law-enforcement nationwide has risen to the challenge they are
working hand-in-hand with members of the public health community but it is critically important for the medical establishment to work with us to meet the challenges of access to treatment for individuals with opiate use disorders. it is vital that individuals of a opiate use disorders receive evidence-based care and treatment. medication assisted treatment is fda approved medications when combined with blatant behavioral therapies and recovery has shown to be the most effective treatment for opiate use disorders. just this weekend, sec. burwell secretary burwell announced an additional $33 million in funding aid to expand the use of medication existed treatment and additional to find access to care and services nationwide. hhs released guidance to help implement innovative approaches, the the administration has also
committed $99 million over fiscal year 2015 for overdose in treatment effort. giving the connection between opiates and transmission public health strategies are necessary to prevent the further spread of infection. the recent hiv outbreak in indiana is how opiate use can spread disease, they need to be part of the response and how with limited capacity may experience additional public health crisis. in conclusion we'll continue to work with congress and our federal partners on the public health and public safety issues resulting from the epidemic of nonmedical prescription opiate and heroin use. think for think for your time. >> thank you mr. riley,. >> thank you for the opportunity to discuss heroine its use and
availability. dea single mission is enforcing and heroine has also been a major focus of efforts over the years. sadly today, 120 americans will die as a result of drug overdose, heroine and prescriptive drugs results from over half of those. i've been with dea almost 30 years and i have to tell you i have never seen it this bad. heroin destroys individuals, families and communities, the vast majority of heroin abuse in the united states is manufactured outside of our country and smuggled it across the southwest border. in recent years there's been an increase in heroin production in mexico as a result, mexican heroine is more prevalent on her streets today accounting for approximately half of the domestic supply. mexican crime is on precedent which is why the dea relationship with the counter
part in our presence along the border so vital. were looking at high-profile victims, i spent half of my half of my career chasing l chapel. dea focus their resources on disrupting disk mentally and their organization, both home and abroad. that means targeting the intersections between mexican organized crime to and violent urban gangs distributing the heroin on their behalf. the
relationship between these two criminal entities can only be described as a dangerous and toxic. heroin can be found at virtually every corner of our country, and places i've never seen it before. large and small, urban and rural, it's far more different than it was five years ago, it's cheaper, higher it was five years ago, it's cheaper, higher impurity can be smoked and snorted, much like powder cocaine. unfortunately, there's no typical heroin addict. the problem transcends all demographic and social economic lines. knowing it is a source of so much violence in our community is really what keeps me up at night. i know from experience the more we do to reduce drug crime, the more we will to reduce all violent crime. we developed a model cooperation and collaboration that i believe is making a difference they are across the country. chicago heroines drug force began with federal, state and local law enforcement, prosecutors and committee members that together we could affect heroin trafficking. as part of our efforts the number of breast and drug traffickers increase, primarily those connected to violence. we also dismantled criminal organizations responsible of hundreds of even thousands kilos of heroin consequently women are
commanded safer. this new and innovative strategy also allows us to work at the street level, to prevent violent crime while at the same time to pursue the investigation into the highest level of cartel leadership, wherever that takes us. we are actively looking at making this a dea model across the country. just as we can't separate violence from drugs, we can't separate controlled substance prescription abuse from heroine. as part of the commitment to target the critical nexus of prescription drugs and heroine, we are taking steps to remove them when their unneeded prescription drugs and medicine cabinets. on september 26, 2015, dea will host its tenth national takeback initiative. i know firsthand these threats are in know firsthand these threats are in urgent challenge and a danger to the committee to the
communities and the lives of our citizens. law-enforcement is not the sole answer, prevention, prevention, education are critical to our success. everybody plays a role in this problem from parents and community leaders, educators to faith-based organization, the medical community, this is a marathon not a sprint but together we will produce the results you see and the american people demand. thank you thank you. >> thank you mr. riley. >> i appreciate the opportunity to be here today and to speak to you. for the past 12 to 18 months i have learned a great deal about drug overdose deaths, both prescription and illegal drugs. part of that is because i serve on the state fatality review team and we are reviewing our use and that includes narcotics. also with the number of adult overdose deaths in my city. for the past three years as a
prosecutor i've learned a lot about distributing drugs and i've learned about simply possessing drugs. there is a difference, big difference. for the past 30 years as a prosecutor i've learned about property crime, public safety, and what victims of crime and law-abiding citizens expect and deserve from their lot local law enforcement. i appreciate the hole that drugs have on some people. we may all have family or friends, or friends have children who are addicted to either prescription drugs or heroine, or cocaine. i appreciate the pain they experience for what they go through and i appreciate that very few people who are addicted to drugs or to anything, can can break the cycle of addiction by themselves and alone. but i also know know that many of them die
alone. and i also know that we all want to save lives. users, whether they are incarcerated or not, should have access to have access to good affordable treatments. dealers should be incarcerated. door order should not have their merchandise stolen by addicts who are in their stealing to support their habits. law-abiding citizens should be able to live peacefully in their homes and in their neighborhoods , without dealers servicing their clients on the street corners, in the parking lot, or in the house next door. they should also not be subject to being in the middle of the crossfire when the cross when the wars break out against the gangs, and the drag dialer's over who's going to run what street corner what street.
we have innocent people being shot and killed the throughout this country because of drug dealers engaging in drug fire. the generations before did not find a way to stop drug use or abuse, and i don't think anybody realistically thinks that just this generation is doing going to do so either. but we can all work together to diminish the devastation of the impact of the drug. all of the disciplines involved in this have to be at the table because i am a prosecutor, i am not a therapist, therapist, i don't know what their peas work. i can listen, and i can learn. so we all have to be at the table, the comprehensive rate recovery act that i support very strongly and i have permission from the national district attorneys association to state that the association supports it also. it's a very important thing, the connection connection between prescription drugs and heroine use. alternative evidence-based
program for incarcerated veterans, substance abuse and mental health, they all go hand-in-hand together. grants from money for local law-enforcement. there are five components that i see and each one sees serves a very valid purpose. prevention, intervention, treatment, diversion, and incarceration. thank you. >> thank you very much. >> good morning thank you for the opportunity to appear today. my name is angela and i'm the elected da for the first judicial district in new mexico. i am here here to talk to you about hope. as a prosecutor, every day i i make dozens of decisions that impact someone's life, i could sit here and tell you all the horrors associated with drug use but it's an elected official,
who is constantly being bombarded with the ills of society on a daily basis, wouldn't you rather hear about giving someone hope? our community like so many has expressed the ravages of heroin addiction for years, as a prosecutor i have personally prosecuted three generations of families addicted to heroin and associated crimes. every day in the courtroom we see the same individuals, addicted to opiates, day in and day out. they are released from custody and told to obey all laws and stay clean with little to no treatment. in a course in two weeks when they report to two weeks with their promotion probation officer they will be told to provide a urine sample and it
will test positive for opiates, the person will then be arrested it, placed in custody, goes back to the court, released from custody told to obey all laws, stay clean and the cycle continues. we all know the person is addicted to heroin, of course they will test positive. just because someone tells them or orders them to stop using, do you really think that's going to last very long? anyone that has everyone raise children knows firsthand that you can't make someone do something unless they want to. the definition of insanity is to keep repeating the same mistakes over and over and expect a different result. that is madness. so in 2014 we became the second city in the nation after seattle to implement a law enforcement assisted diversion program. referred to as lead for low-level drug offenders, our
lead program is community policing at its best. a police police officer on the street knows his or her community, who better than a police officer to divert someone into a program? let me me tell you how lead works. a police officer's call to a local grocery store on a shoplifting call, he encounters mary, unknown heroin addict, he has arrested her several times before. instead of booking and arresting her he offers her the lead program, the agreement agreement he makes with mary is that she must can plead the lead application process within 72 hours, if she does the officer will not file criminal charges on the shoplifting at the grocery store. if she agrees, the officer then contacts a lead case manager and arranges for the two to meet. the case manager asked mary, what can i do to help you? what do you need? then the two of them develop an
action plan, they start with her basic needs she may need childcare or a ged registration whatever it takes to get her life back. she has lost everything. they consist of public managers and therapist. everyone is giving an opportunity to provide input i marries progress, everyone is in agreement that mary will slip and there will be missteps but mary will have a safety net of individuals ready to support here. our lead program isn't for
everyone but it's a start for start for a number of reasons. it's about understanding that an opiate addiction is truly a public health issue and not a criminal matter. it's about recognizing that a person with an opiate addiction is a person, not just another statistic, not another criminal defendant for me to prosecute, but someone whose life does matter. the purpose of lead is to save money and time. also, but more importantly it is about saving lives. it is. it is about empowering the person and giving them hope. >> thank you very much we will begin with questions under the five minute rule and i will use my cell five minutes as the first series of questions. mr. pacheco, i agree with you that merely throwing someone in jail and having them come out and probably go back to jail in the first place is something that ought to be addressed.
can you give me an estimate if the recidivism rate of those who have gone through the lead program and graduated, and ended up finding out that it didn't work. >> certainly mr. chairman the program has been in existence for one year and as such we don't have the type of statistical data that seattle does. seattle has shown that in their program and santa fe is modeled after that, the recidivism, let me just make sure i have the correct number for you, let me see i had it marked here for you, i'm sorry sir. it would be 80% less.
>> is 80% less then the recidivism rate before the program started in seattle. >> correct. >> will let me say that i think this is probably the most important thing we ought to look at because as the man goes down, the profits that are made by the dealers go down as well. we can talk about saving lives and giving people hope, in my home community in southeastern wisconsin we have had a rash of deaths as a result of heroin overdose. the attorney general last week convened a task force to try to deal with this both from a law enforcement, as well as a treatment in it rehabilitation standpoints.
the bill i introduced with other members of the committee was made at the suggestion of governor walker. what advice would any of you give to the atty. general of wisconsin on how to deal with the task force that he has convened so that it can be effective, why don't you start. >> one of the areas, and i think you have heard today and we been working with many states and adjourn attorneys general, i think the old for all goal that this has to be a calm pretense of response people. people need to know that it's a multidimensional problem that needs a multipronged approach, prevention, treatment, recovery services as well as a role for our local law enforcement in terms of not about incarcerating people with addiction but going after the supply of drugs that are on our street that are feeling this epidemic.
it needs to be a multipronged approach. as he mentioned many local enforcement, people are understanding the fact they can't arrest at their way out of this problem, and that they also have a role in a role in terms of reducing overdoses. we have really been amazed in terms of local law enforcement kind of rise to the call in terms of preventing overdoses. this is really a multidimensional issue here that requires a conference of response. everybody, as mr. riley talked about has a role here. whether it's law-enforcement, leaders, is about bringing people together and looking at the evidence about what's effective and cementing those responses. >> miss powers to have anything to add to what mr. botticelli has said. >> mr. chairman i am serving on the governor's task force heroin task force and i can say that one of the good things in one of the reasons i think this is working is the implement implementation plan has been
published is that there are so many different aspects, their pharmacist and medical doctors, and treatment providers. we have law-enforcement's, state police sheriffs, we have federal government who has a representative there, we are representative there, we are all represented there and it has been broken down for treatment, a law-enforcement workgroup, education, and also more specific on disposal of the prescription drug. the broad spectrum and breaking down specific workgroups has produced a very good plan. >> thank you very much my time is up. >> yes i'm so impressed by the lead program could you describe how the lead program has affected the police and relations in santa fe and what role the community involvement in lead is and what the cost savings is.
>> initially santa fe had a series of meetings by all community members for nine months we had a needs assessment, everyone was involved, involved, private, business, law enforcement, mental health workers and we are able to put together the lead program and it consists of a consortium of individual, santa fe community, santa fe district attorney's office in the public defender's office in all of us get together and we have combined resources, manpower, we have public funding, we have private funding and we get together, well i guess what i would really like to say is it's
really wonderful to see how the police officers have responded to this. the police officers on the street were the ones who came to us and said we need to do something, were sick and tired of arresting the same people, we have nothing we can give them, and for us it's been very gratifying to see the response from the police department. the other thing that's been gratifying has been we have seen many young women with children, and we had not anticipated that, so we've been able to provide services to the children and at first we had not taken that into consideration so what were able to do now is provide services to an entire family and we have found that to be very gratifying. >> thank you mr. riley there have been numerous cases across the country where individuals who severed chronic pain have problems getting their prescriptions, i i understand that drugstores have been tightening the rules after they
been doing record fines through pharmacies, i believe the careful balance has to be struck between attacking prescription drug abuse while not preventing legitimate patients from accessing pain medications. as one of cosponsors of hr 471 which is ensuring patient act which passed the house in april, so what steps is the dea doing to ensure patients are getting legitimate prescriptions for drug abuse and how do you respond to comments of the dea to stop prescription of drug abuse prescription of prescription drugs for drug abuse. >> i to share the concern on this, we are so concerned about patient access at every step and what we want to ensure is a legitimate health care provider
has access to adequate medication for their patients. one way we're doing that is our relationship with the industry. there are approximately 1.5 million registrants, of those 900,000 are physicians and by obviously communicating back and forth with them, making sure they understand what we're seeing across the country and trends, of addictions and abuse, has brought them in and what we strive to do to make them are allies. our education of how they view the problem is really important and clearly we want to list them from the registrant so it's a two-way street. if you look for instance what occurred in florida with the pill mill situation a few years ago literally you have a storefront, a small strip mall with several hundred people lined up around the block at 6:00 a.m. waiting for it to open
to obtain illegal prescriptions. in those situations we move very quickly to cut that up. of the 1.5 million registrants, the vast majority are law-abiding but the ones who choose to break the law, we take very seriously. what we really strive for is a patient access, safe and excessive medication. >> thank you i yelled back. >> general your time has expired. >> thank you mr. chairman, mr. riley the map you brought paints a distressing picture. it suggests drug trafficking organization, this ashley the cartel has infiltrated our nation to a frightening degree and have partnered with street gangs in this country to peddle their drugs. in many ways it's a national security issue, what is the dea doing to address that particular
problem? >> thank you sir, that is my primary biggest concerned, having seen this change on this map that you are looking at have been vastly different just five years ago. the role of heroine, the toxic business relationship that's involved in virtually every corner of this country between urban street gangs and mexican cartels is frightening to me, it's what he's me up at night. what we're doing better than what i have ever done is connecting the dots. i can tell you that chapel guzman, for 1 pounds and plans on the fact that cops don't talk to talk cops, i can assure you we are talking more now so our ability to attack organizations as they begin to bread across the country has never been better. >> are these drug trafficking
organizations violent? >> there's no doubt my mind having done this job in cities across this country for 30 years, i've never seen violence connected to trafficking. >> are these people you are targeting. >> many are parts of organizations that are violent. >> how many possession of drug offenders so those who have only enough to possess only enough for their own use how many do they prosecute. >> virtually none, our role role is to attack the highest levels possible so that we can really hurt the organization from start to finish. with our limited resources sir, that is most effective way breast to make a difference across the country. >> let me turn to this bar, let me ask a similar question. is violence regularly associated with drug trafficking and distribution? >> yes, i definitely agree with that statement. we have seen in chesapeake, which is a very safe community
we have our shootings are mainly between gangs who are fighting over to her over where they're going to sell their drugs. >> what type of violence do you see. >> with heroin use the violences nuts much as the property crime, for heritage heroin users because they're stealing for the habits, your ceiling seen an increase in prosecute prostitution. as far as distributing heroine, that be the gunbattles that are on our city streets and in our neighborhoods that expose innocent people to the gunfire. >> does it extend into gang violence overturf question mark. >> yes. >> territories if you will. >> yes, we have gangs in chesapeake, we have over 300 square miles and there is a lot
of turf to fight over and when they see an opening, they're going to go there. >> and is there nexus between heroin trafficking and other criminal acts by these drug organizations are gangs? >> yes sir. whenever you have trafficking you're also going to see an increase in the prostitution that is coming into the area and also robberies. we have gang members robbing other gang members, gang members robbing and shooting other gang members. >> mr. pacheco will you respond to the same. >> yes sir it is and it has become worse. >> what kind of violence do you see in new mexico. >> there is been many shootings, we've had a few executions as a result over trafficking. >> to have the same problem
between gangs and drug organizations and the gangs are there local solid sales organization if you will for the cartel and other drug distribution question mike. >> were definitely aware of the fact because we are a border state we definitely see heroin coming in from mexico fairly frequently, especially northern new mexico. i can't say specifically which cartel it's associated with but we definitely see a lot of drugs coming in from the border. >> thank you very much. >> the other gentleman from virginia. >> thank you mr. pacheco were looking at this program to stop to increase recidivism have you looked at faith-based programs that have worked incredibly successful in trying to stop recidivism and specifically have we looked at their success rate and also impediments that we are
putting in front of them to stop them from doing some of the work they are doing. could you make an investigation that. >> not really sir, this lead is a fairly new concept and there really isn't a another model to compare to. >> the only thing i would say that oftentimes we love to create new wheels and re-about the will, but we have had some incredibly successful programs across the country that we have put one impediment after the other for them to do in a complementary role with what you're doing. at some point we need to look at that and analyze that. mr. riley let me ask you, following up on the chairman statement we've had testimony that today if we looked across the country the gang membership of this country would equal the fourth largest in the world. we've had testimony both in administration, not just one
that in some of the most violent gangs serving these networks, 85% of them are calming illegally, thereby passing any prevention programs or anything were doing to get into these games. it shocked us to find out the secretary of homeland security didn't even know that we are asking people if they were members of violent gangs before we release them. do you have any connectivity is to just how important those gangs are in this distribution process question marks. >> i think they have become crucial to the mexican cartels, speaking just in chicago in the midwest, there are over 150,000 documented streaking work members, largely largely they make their living by putting drugs on the street supply by the cartels. heroine heroin is another drug of choice and the way they regulate themselves is by the barrel of a gun. so this is an enormity in terms of what we're seeing across the country and it is extremely
toxic. that's why it's really important for law-enforcement to be involved to attack the organization. not just not just what's occurring on the street, obviously will work with our state and local counterparts but to make sure the integrity of those cases are work to the highest level so that we can have an impact on the organization itself and the communities. >> and this community has work to do this to get some pretty sophisticated gang legislation out here unfortunately he got bogged down in the senate we didn't see it come out. let me ask this question on july july 14, five individuals from portsmouth and chesapeake were arrested on federal conspiracy on with intent to distribute heroin they vest dictation was led by the fbi and the chesapeake police department. according to court documents the investigation involves 75 kilograms of heroin so between 2013 in 2015, but that
in perspective that's equivalent to over 2 million doses which is enough to give everyone in hampton roads a high off of heroin. can you give us any details about those arrests and more particularly the level of coordination between local, state and federal governments, and were there any barriers that you would suggest are problematic that we can work on eliminating for you? >> the recent arrest of the crime is a great example of the cooperation that we have in southhampton road. particularly in chesapeake and the dea and fbi, we have worked together quite well on many cases. in this case, i did not see any obstacles as everybody was fully aware of what was going on as far as the investigation was going and it was very well organized. you did state the amount of
heroin and the money the money they were making out for this. one thing thing i would point out is in one of those homes that was searched warranted, there are many children in that home and the information is that $50,000 was counted every other day in that house with those children there. because of the heroin sales and that heroin was cut and prepared on the dinner table. i think that when we look at that and the children who are exposed we have got to do something. >> thank you my time has expired maybe i can talk to another time about that. >> mr. gaudi from south carolina. >> thank you i want to thank you for your service and bring to your attention the excellent work of the dea agents who are a credit to your agency. i'm not very good with math
which means i'm in the right line of work, i need you to help me a little bit. i think it takes 20 grams of cocaine base to trigger the five-year mandatory minimum? >> i believe that's true. >> and 28 g would would be roughly equivalent to a hundred 28 dosage assuming 2.5 dosage graham dosage unit so to get five years mandatory in prison you need hundred 20 grams of to get a five-year prison. and it takes 500 grams of powder because it's about a grandma tosa didn't we talk about powder. now heroine, it takes 100 grams to reach that same threshold but that is 3000 dosage units. so why can you go to prison for five years for 28 euros for a
hundred 12 dosage units of crack cocaine but 3000 of heroin is what it takes to trigger that five-year mandatory minimum? that seems absurd to me. >> on the law-enforcement side were cops, were doing the best we can with the laws that are currently out there. >> you are, which is why when there's a discussion about reforming mandatory minimums it's important to hear from long forstmann officers. one thing we could do is just legalize or equalize what it takes to trigger a mandatory sentence. if you have a problem with heroin and it requires 3000 dosage unit to reach that five-year sentence but it only
takes 100 doses for crack cocaine, it's pretty easy even for me of what can be done in respect to heroin. i know folks and everybody in congress don't like mandatory minimums, most forks and law enforcement like that. but. but congress doesn't like him. i want to ask you this, how many folks are serving federal risen services for possession of a drug question marks. >> i've been doing this for 30 years and i can tell you no one as a result of my investigation. >> you i couldn't find any either, i haven't done it as lazy. i couldn't find anyone in a federal prison for possession of us substance. how many low level drug offenders did you target for investigation of the da. >> nonservice. >> right da wouldn't target
low-level nonviolent drug offenders. they will go to the state prosecutor right. >> no sir we would go after the largest traffickers we could identify and the largest organizations. >> writes of this mythology that our federal prisons are full of low level, nonviolent offenders and statistics in your 30 years in law-enforcement just don't pan out do they. >> it not based on what i've been involved with. >> i have a colleague who is a prosecutor and former life, very conscientious colleague, from the very first day he set foot in congress he shared with us the can discern about heroin epidemic. he wanted and is asking to pass about the interconnectivity, the relationship between prescription drugs and heroin. who can speak to that on behalf of my colleague who raises a pretty good question question mark. >> i think it's a real concern here as we talk about that fourth fifth of new users start with prescription pain
medication and because of some of the app economics of what it costs versus how cheap you are heroin is we see that transition. i think that's where intervention and treatment and diminishing the vast prescription pain medication is happening right now is particularly important in terms of our effort. >> i've 25 seconds, drug court. trim letters believer in drug court. i've seen live change but heroin is hard to get up. in fact it was the hardest drug for folks to quick it back in my previous job. what we need to do with heroin to make it where more folks are getting off of it through drug court? >> i just spoke this morning 5000 people from across the country who are saving lives by giving people a second chance, by giving them good care and treatment with accountability. part of what we know to be effective with heroin use is that medications, when combined with other therapies become
past two years it increased to an average of 200. and another county i represent, which includes the capital, lansing they had 28 heroin-related deaths last year and that number increased every year exponentially so i would agree this issue deserves our immediate attention. and i want to thank the chairman of the committee, chairman goodl goodlatte for identifying the issues and making sure they are primary and we do whatever we can to address them. director, i would like to start with you if i could. it is clear from what i am hearing in my district this
issue cuts across all kinds of demographic lines. what are we doing to insure the response to this epidemic is comprehensive and hollistic? we had collaboration between the local law enforcement and dea when i did this. i appreciate your comments about drug courts and alternative sentencing that is available. can you shore more about what you are doing? -- share -- >> i think we are acknowledging while we have a federal response it is state and local where the rubber meets the roads. they need the resources they nide to do the work and identify the issues and work at the state and local level together. in addition to federal treatment
funding we support through high drug trafficking areas, which are areas assigned as is such, many of them focus on heroin issues and continuing to support and prevent education programs. our office supports what is called drug-free community programs and these are programs and grants to support community-based, locally driven prevention program at the community level. ever community looks different and everyone needs the key players on board as part of the solution. we really acknowledge and try to continue to support local and state levels which require the partnership to make it real. >> thank you, sir. in your testimony, you made
reference to this but legalization at marijuana at the local level, how is that influencing the markets and if that has led to the increase in heroin in the country or shifted the focus away from marijuana on to and now we are focus on methamphetamine and heroin and other types of drugs? >> well, i think it goes to really the market jen genius of the cartel. they have seen the spread of prescription drug abuse and know at some point that availability does cease thus begins the long road to heroin. and we have seen that across the country. so i believe as much as i do ten years ago when we were battling methamphetamine with the help of congress we were able to slate the primary pre-cursors out and
we saw a drastic reduction in the amount of domestic laboratories. however, the cartels recognize that there still was a t tremendous addiction issue. so they produced methamphetamine in 5000 pound cooks and provide that to the areas that were supported domestically. as i look at the problem, sir, i think it is truly battling the new phase of organized crime and i am so glad the committee recognized what has been troubling me the connection between domestic street gangs and the cartels. it is the face of organized crime as i see it. law enforcement needs to be fluid enough to attack that relationship. we can solve violence on the street but attack the
organizations that are responsible for all of the drugs at the same time. >> gentlemen's time has expired. the gentlemen from idaho, mr. labador. >> thank you for being here and testifying about the import rise of use of heroin across the united states. one particular concern i that i would like to address is the expanded population of heroin uses. you you have mention in 2013 that 169,000 people over the age of 12 used heroin for the first time within the past year with the average age of first time user at around 25. you cited data of the heroin starters 86% were prior prescription drug users. i understand your agency is
addressing the drugs in america but what is being done to prevent the rise in addiction to prescription drugs? >> i think what we are doing is important. awareness is really important. prior to leaving chicago, i attended a meeting about two years before i departed and there was about a hundred concerned people in the room. i attended that same meeting three years later and there were over 2,000 people concerned with the whole heroin issue. many of them were parents unfortunately. what striked me most is many of the parents had no idea their kids, and i am talking my school age kids, were involved with prescription drug abuse which lead to heroin and many didn't find out until on the way the emergency room. law enforcement attacking the issue is crucial. that is what we do around the
clock. but the awareness of everyone to the issue is going to strengthen us. parents, educators, community leaders, faith-based practitioners. everybody plays a role. we cannot do it alone. we need the help of everybody especially parents >> i understand many users are receiving prescription drugs through legit using leading to an increase in people that would not normally touch. what does the agency propose to address the fundamental problems with addiction? >> one of the problems we face and again it is an awareness issue. today's heroin on the street is being smoked and snorted.
so again of the fear is aids or hepatitis because of the fear of a needle so younger people are trying heroin almost as a recreational drug. statistics show they will go to needle use eventually but i think it does have a lot to do with why we are seeing younger and younger addicts. >> if i could add to this comment. to your point, focused on the prescription drug problem is a top priority and first foremost we need to rein in over prescriping fapharmaceuticals. we want a balanced approach and people are getting appropriate main medicine but don't want to swing to the other way and that is why we want to mack sure every prescriber has minimum education about precribing practices. 70% of people that misuse them are getting them free from
friends and family. that is why federal and local take back programs to get the drugs out of people's home is equally important. we have been promoted prescription drug monitoring all allowing physicians to check to see if someone is going from doctor to doctor and intervene at that point. we just got briefed by the dea in terms of a huge take down and bad doctors and practices in the south. so we know this needs a hollistc response. >> you mention the need to address non-violent offenders who end up in jail with no alternative for addressing their problems. they are destructive and resulted in wasting valuable
resources. in your view, what is the best way of helping cultures where drug abuse is pervasive? >> i have been doing this for many years, sir. it always comes down to resources and monies for drug treatments but we see over and over you know, the same people, in and out, in and out without appropriate resources, new mexico as you know is one of the poorer states. we don't have the type of tax base to provide services. but a program, like lead, it is a pre-arrest, pre-booking that shows it can save money and that can go into the treatment and wrap around services the individuals need. that is kind of where it is at. someone in the cycle of addiction need as much support as possible. and why transferring resources
from the back end to the front end to help them and keep them out of the system, sir. >> the time of the general has expired. this concludes today's hearing and thanks for our witnesses for attending. without objections, all members have five legislative days to submit questions for the witnesses and additional material for the record and without objection the hearing is adjourned. >> the house of representative and the u.s. senate are out of
session for their summer recess and both bodies are back on tuesday, september 8th, and expected to take up the nuclear agreement with iran and the senate votes on the judicial nominee on the first day back. tonight on booktv in prime time, books by 2016 presidential candidates. next, after words for mike huckabee on his book "god, guns, grits, and gravy" and then ben carson talks about "one nation" and mark rubio discusses "american dreams" at the freedomfest concert in las vegas and hillary clinton talks about her book called "hard choices". former arkansas governor and presidential candidate, mike huckabee mike huckabee is next.
he sat done with cnn's s.e. cupp to talk about cultural and landscape in his book "god, guns, grits, and gravy." this is an hour. governor huckabee, i think it is worth pointing out the irony that you are sitting there in new york where i used to live and i am in washington where maybe you will live in just over a year? >> guest: we will see about t t that. i did say there is only one address in all of washington i would have any interest in moving to and i think you know which one that might be. >> host: i do and we will talk about 2016 in a bit. let's talk about your book "god, guns, grits, and gravy." explain the title, first of all. >> guest: it is not a recipe book of southern food. if you are saying i don't know