White House forum tackles opiate abuse in eastern Tennessee - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

White House forum tackles opiate abuse in eastern Tennessee

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - National Drug Control Policy Director Michael Botticelli told a Knoxville audience that while prescription drug and heroin abuse have become epidemic in Appalachia, resources to fight the problem haven't grown at the same rate.

The Knoxville News Sentinel (http://bit.ly/23423Uc ) reports Botticelli moderated an hour-long panel discussion Thursday at the west campus of South College before an invited audience of over 100 law enforcement professionals, public health officials and others.

Botticelli says he's using the White House-hosted forum to "continue the conversation" President Barack Obama started this past fall with a speech in West Virginia.

Immediately before the discussion, Botticelli announced Blount County's addition to the list of 30 Tennessee counties designated High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas in Appalachia, qualifying the county for more federal resources to fight the drug trade.

Information from: Knoxville News Sentinel, http://www.knoxnews.com

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