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DEA responds to report that suggests law hampers opioid enforcement

The Drug Enforcement Administration is responding to Sunday night's troubling report on 60 minutes about the fight against opioid abuse in America.

"How hard does it make your job in going after the wholesale distributors?" Bill Whitaker asked.

"I would say it makes it nearly impossible," said Former DEA Attorney Jonathan Novak.

Novak was referring to a law passed by Congress that supporters said was designed to help patients get the prescription drugs they needed.

Novak says what it really did was strip the DEA of its power to freeze "suspicious" shipments of narcotics and keep them off the streets.

Today, the DEA said it has taken action against far fewer opioid distributors since the law has passed. It says it has added no suspension orders against a distributor for nearly two years. It did release a statement saying it will continue to use all the tools at its disposal to combat the opioid epidemic.

The Centers for Disease Control says more than 33,000 Americans died from opioid-related overdoses in 2015 alone. There's a lot more to the 60 minutes investigation. Visit our links section to see the complete report. 

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