A recent surge in heroin overdoses in Taunton has shed light on an epidemic that has plagued the state and nation.


Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Edward Markey and White House Drug Policy Director Gil Kerlikowske  met with local officials, first responders and parents of addicts at the Taunton Central Fire Station on Monday to discuss how to attack the issue.


Participants agreed that treatment and preventative care should be the main focus. Kerlikowske says arresting users will not solve the problem.


Officials reported two heroin overdoses in Taunton on Monday, adding to the more than 60 that had occurred so far this year, including five deaths.


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says prescription drug and heroin fatalities in the U.S. surpass homicides and traffic deaths.

State Senator Stan Rosenberg says there is no excuse for the state to turn its back on the issue.  He will work toward establishing additional treatment centers in the state.