Holder: Heroin Addiction a 'Growing Public Health Crisis' in US

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2014-03_6fa41ced48.jpgChip Somodevilla/Getty Images (WASHINGTON) -- Heroin addiction is a growing problem in the U.S., according to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. In a videotaped message released by the Justice Department on Monday, Holder says that "[b]etween 2006 and 2010, heroin overdose deaths increased by 45 percent." The problem is something that every state in the nation is facing.

"Addiction to heroin and other opiates -- including certain prescription pain-killers -- is impacting the lives of Americans in every state, in every region, and from every background and walk of life," he says. "It’s clear that opiate addiction is an urgent -- and growing -- public health crisis. And that’s why Justice Department officials, including the DEA [Drug Enforcement Administration], and other key federal, state, and local leaders, are fighting back aggressively," Holder adds.

Among other things, the attorney general promises aggressive enforcement to combat the problem and wants first responders to carry naloxone, which can counter a heroin overdose.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio