RICHMOND, Ky. (AP) - U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch visited a Kentucky high school in a region hard-hit by drug addiction as part of an administration effort to draw attention to rising rates of painkiller and heroin abuse.

Lynch shared a stage at Madison Central High School Tuesday morning with a recovering addict and a mother who lost her son to a heroin overdose.

Kentucky was third in the U.S. in the rate of overdose deaths in 2014, behind only West Virginia and New Hampshire.

Alex Elswick, a former Centre College student, says many heroin abusers start out like him, with a legal prescription for painkillers that fuels addiction and leads to heroin abuse.

The Obama administration has proposed spending about $1 billion for treatment and prevention of opioid and heroin addiction.

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