Jeff Sessions along with federal authorities announced charges brought against 412 people, including doctors, nurses, and pharmacists in what has been noted as the largest healthcare fraud enforcement operation in the United States to date.

Jeff Sessions made clear the widespread disregard for public safety in which he specified that the accused allegedly accounted for roughly 1.3 billion dollars in fraudulent transactions spanning across at least 20 states. Among the 412 charged were 56 doctors along with 120 individuals that are accused of various roles with regard to over-prescribing and distributing opiates.

With the nation facing an opiate epidemic that leaves many politicians scratching their heads on how to attack the problem, Jeff Sessions is taking action. “Too many trusted medical professionals have chosen to violate their oaths and put greed ahead of their patients,” says Sessions. He continued, “Amazingly, some have made their practices into multi-million-dollar criminal enterprises.”

According to the CDC, among new heroin users approximately 75% report abusing prescription pain killers prior to their heroin use. It appears the gateway into heroin for the vast majority of users has been prescription pain killers.

The American Society of Addiction Medicine states that in 2015 The United States recorded 20,101 overdose deaths related to prescription pain relievers/killers coupled with another 12,990 overdose deaths attributed to heroin. The ASAM also states that since 1999, drug overdose death rates have steadily increased in parallel with the sales of prescription pain killers and the admissions of people into substance abuse programs.

With the vast amount of overdose deaths being attributed to prescription pain killers, it is very clear to see why the United States Department of Justice and Attorney General Jeff Sessions targeted these individuals.