Investigation: DEA Dragged Its Feet in Fighting the Opioid Epidemic

The number of civil case filings against pharmacies, manufacturers, and distributors of opioids dipped drastically from 131 in 2011 to 40 in 2014, according to an investigation by the Washington Post. Suspension orders are the DEA’s strongest weapon of enforcement and they dropped from 65 to nine in the same period.

Frank Younker, a DEA supervisor in the Cincinnati field office who retired in 2014, tells the newspaper: “Things came to a grinding halt. I talked to my fellow supervisors, and we were all frustrated. It was ridiculous. I don’t know how many lives could have been saved if the process was done quicker.”

DEA administrator Chuck Rosenberg responded: “We combat the opioid crisis in many ways: criminally, civilly, administratively, and through robust demand reduction efforts.”

Source: Washington Post