As the nation fights a spiraling drug epidemic, a top federal prosecutor is speaking out about the death of his son from a heroin overdose.
Bruce Brandler is the new interim U.S. attorney for a region that covers half of Pennsylvania.
He has never before publicly discussed the 2007 overdose death of his 16-year-old son, Erik, but says he feels a responsibility that comes with his new, higher-profile job.
He tells The Associated Press he wants to “evaporate the myth that heroin addicts are just homeless derelicts,” urging parents to “open their eyes” and talk to their kids.
Brandler’s office has announced a strategy for combating overdose deaths from heroin and powerful prescription painkillers, part of a directive from the Justice Department to the nation’s 93 U.S. attorneys.