CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has returned to West Virginia for the second time in four months to discuss efforts to stop the nation's opioid epidemic.

At an event Thursday in Charleston, Sessions said it's wrong to assume that drug abuse is a private choice or matter. He says it reduces worker productivity, puts a strain on health-care programs such as Medicaid, and fills emergency rooms, foster homes and cemeteries.

He says "we have a culture to defend, an economy to defend, a nation to defend."

West Virginia by far led the nation with 41.5 drug overdose deaths per 100,000 residents in 2015.

The event was sponsored by the American Conservative Union Foundation and the Cardinal Institute.

Sessions also spoke in May at a Drug Enforcement Administration meeting on addiction in Charleston.