U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said his agency was stepping up efforts to stem sharp increases in deadly heroin overdoses, trafficking in the drug and abuse of prescription narcotics at the root of what he called an "urgent public health crisis." As part of that campaign, Holder reiterated the Obama administration's call for more law enforcement agencies to train and equip personnel with an overdose-reversal medication called naloxone. The director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy issued a similar plea to police and fire departments last month. Holder said 17 states and the District of Columbia have amended their laws to increase access to naloxone, a blocking agent that can reverse the effects of an overdose and help restore breathing. Still, fatal heroin overdoses have increased 45 percent from 2006 to 2010, with 3,038 such deaths reported that year, and the numbers are believed to still be on the rise, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.