DETROIT (WWJ/AP) –  Over 70 federal law enforcers from six states met in Detroit to discuss how to confront the growing abuse of heroin and prescription painkillers.

U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade hosted the private summit Wednesday. She says drug dealers in southeastern Michigan appear to be taking their trade to other states, including Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky, western Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

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“There is a pipeline that law enforcement agencies have identified from Michigan into each of these other states,” said McQuade. “We want to target the cartels that are sending the drugs through our district – these crimes are resulting in overdoses deaths.”

McQuade says the problem is a broad one, from doctors who prescribe drugs to people using drugs to others who illegally sell them.

She says she refused a powerful painkiller for a 14-year-old son who broke his ankle.

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“We’ve seen an almost four-fold increase in the number overdose deaths in Pittsburgh and all the surrounding counties,” said David Hickton the U.S. Attorney for Western Pennsylvania.

The crisis from heroin and prescription in his district is unprecedented.

“We need to do everything we can do as fast as we can do it, to deal with this crisis,” he said.

Hickton says there’s a desperate need for “new ideas.” He counts dozens of overdoses in recent weeks in his territory.

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