Aug. 29 (UPI) -- Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Tuesday the current drug epidemic in the United States is the "deadliest in American history," and called for a new culture in the country that's "hostile to drug use."
The nation's top law enforcement officer made his comments during an address to the National Alliance For Drug Endangered Children event in Wisconsin on Tuesday.
At the event, Sessions said preliminary data shows that 62,000 overdose deaths recorded in 2016 will be the highest in U.S. history.
"It is one of the most serious and lethal issues facing this country," he said during a speech. "This means your work has never been more important. And the partnerships and alliances that have been built over your nearly 25-year history will be vital to this mission and to the thousands of children you save every year."
Among new findings in the drug epidemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the number of drug overdose deaths among 15- to 19-year-olds rose 15 percent for males and 35 percent for females in recent years.
Sessions partly laid blame to "mixed" and "accommodating" messages about drugs.
"Some of the government officials, media and Hollywood elites in this country have sent mixed messages and accommodating messages about the harmfulness of drugs," Sessions said. "This is unacceptable. We must not capitulate intellectually or morally to drug use.
"We must create and foster a culture that is hostile to drug abuse. Accommodation to a rattlesnake in your bed is a path to disaster."