Sessions on opioid crisis: 'Take some aspirin; tough it out'
Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke about the nation's opioid crisis during a visit to Florida on Wednesday, praising the response of President Donald Trump, federal agents and prosecutors to the crisis while acknowledging that prescription drug abuse has hit the state hard.
During his 25-minute remarks in Tampa at the U.S. Attorney's Office, Sessions highlighted several overdose cases in Central Florida and said federal investigators continue to crack down on "darknet" marketplaces, a computer network used primarily for illegal file sharing where people sometimes buy illegal drugs.
He added that the Drug Enforcement Agency is now asking medical practitioners whether they have received continuing medical education on prescribing or dispensing opioids when they apply for a license or renew.
Sessions was scheduled to visit Key West to meet with federal officials about anti-drug trafficking efforts in the Caribbean and elsewhere. On Thursday, he is expected to attend a drug summit with military leaders at Southern Command in Miami.
In Tampa, Sessions said that too many opioids are prescribed in the United States.
"People need to take some aspirin sometimes and tough it out... you can get through these things," he said.
Sessions' comments drew criticism from some in the medical community, The Tampa Bay Times reports.
"That remark reflects a failure to recognize the severity of pain of some patients," said Bob Twillman, the executive director of the Academy of Integrative Pain Management, a national organization that advocates for integrative pain care.