Heroin epidemic gets attention in Washington and on the campaign trail

  • There's no question the nation is facing a troubling rise in heroin use.

    The number of heroin overdose deaths nearly doubled between 2011 and 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported earlier this month. In 2013 more than 8,200 people died from the narcotic.

    The problem seems to have caught some political leaders by surprise. "I have to tell you, before I went to Iowa last week I wasn't aware of the depth of feeling people had about substance abuse issues," Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said in April, promising to make the "quiet epidemic" of substance abuse a major part of her campaign.

    Since then, Clinton has talked repeatedly about substance abuse issues and heroin in particular, as have other presidential candidates, members of Congress from both parties, members of the Obama administration and state and local leaders. Several politicians see a role for criminal sentencing reform -- an issue that was already gaining steam in Washington -- in stemming the epidemic. Here's a look at how Washington and a selection of 2016 candidates are responding to the problem.