HARTFORD, CONN. (CBSNewYork) — Areas of Connecticut have been heavily impacted by tragic drug overdoses, and now comes news that both local and federal lawmakers are zeroing in on the problem.

While Congress takes aim at the epidemic of drug abuse, one Connecticut state representative is fighting to toughen laws regarding prescription drugs, WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau reported.

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Rep. Roberta Willis said the abuse of drugs occurs not just in the cities, but in rural Connecticut as well.

And generally, Willis said many who are prescribed narcotics move on to heroin.

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“It’s not just an urban issue,” Willis said. “It is an issue that goes across every community.”

Willis said in the rural towns she represents, as many as 20 people died in just one year from drug overdoses.

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Willis said drug addiction should be taken as a serious chronic illness and added that it needs to start with the medical community being more diligent about prescribing pain killers, Schneidau reported.