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Justice Department Appoints ‘Opioid Coordinator’ To Fight Epidemic

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Ethan Barton Editor in Chief
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A former assistant U.S. attorney was selected to serve as the Opioid Enforcement and Prevention Efforts director in the Deputy Attorney General Office, the Department of Justice announced Friday.

“In the midst of the deadliest drug crisis in American history, we need to prosecute drug crimes aggressively and use our resources wisely,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. “That’s why today I am happy to announce that Mary Daly will help the Department of Justice coordinate our anti-opioid efforts.”

Daly was previously an assistant U.S. attorney in New York and Virginia’s eastern districts — she supervised the narcotics unit and was the opioid coordinator, according to the announcement. She’s served 13 years as a federal prosecutor and has focused on transnational drug-trafficking organizations.

“Mary is a talented and experienced prosecutor, and she will help us act as effectively as possible in this time of crisis,” Sessions said in his statement. “I am confident in her leadership, and I want to welcome her to main Justice.”

Daly will be responsible for forming and implementing the Justice Department’s various opioid-related programs, policies and grants in her new position, which was established December 2017.

The senior-level position was formed as a response to the opioid epidemic and reflects President Donald Trump’s commitment to ending the crisis, Sessions said in a previous statement.

More than 42,000 Americans died from opioid overdoses in 2016 — a fivefold increase from the number of overdose deaths in 1999, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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