Prosecution Won’t Solve Opioid Crisis, Ex-DEA Chief Says

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Chuck Rosenberg spent his last day as the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration at Yale Law School talking about the opioid epidemic. “This is not a Republican thing or a Democrat thing,” Rosenberg said in a conference hosted by Yale and U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly’s office, the Hartford Courant reports. “I don’t give a damn about politics. This is a public health crisis.” Rosenberg, who served as DEA chief for more than two years, believes the solution to the opioid abuse epidemic comes in a change in culture.

“We are not going to prosecute or enforce our way out of this mess, no way,” said Rosenberg, who previously held positions with the FBI and as a federal prosecutor. “That said, there’s a crucial role in law enforcement here. The cartels and the gangs profiting off this poison. They are profiting off our misery.” A critical tool to change the culture and end this crisis, Rosenberg believes, is dialogue and education. “We have to talk about things that are hard to talk about. We have to hear from parents who lost their children,” he said. The conference was held at a time in which Connecticut continues to see rising numbers of overdose deaths. For the first time, projections released by the state’s chief medical examiner show that those deaths could reach more than 1,000 people, more than three times the number of people killed in car accidents each year.

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