NEW BERN -

Attorney General Roy Cooper spoke at the North Carolina Sheriffs' Association Training Conference on Monday morning in New Bern.

The Attorney General spoke at the conference about challenges facing law enforcement, including a lack in forensic lab funding, and increased prescription drug abuse.

 “About 20% of parents talk about prescription drug abuse to their kids, while over 80% talk about marijuana abuse, alcohol, and the street drugs, so we know even parents don’t know it’s a big problem yet,” says Cooper.

Cooper also discussed the causes for delay in forensic analysis results coming from the State Crime Lab. 

"There are a few things that have caused a big push at the lab. First -- there's a Supreme Court case that now requires the scientist to personally appear in court. That's taking significantly more time away from the lab. Second -- we've had funding cuts over the last few years because of the recession. Third -- we've seen an increase of the amount of evidence that's coming into the lab," Cooper said.

The Sheriffs' conference took place at the New Bern Riverfront Convention Center in downtown New Bern.