Sen. Ron Johnson says nephew died of heroin overdose, won't elaborate

MADISON — U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson says he recently lost a nephew to a heroin overdose.

Johnson told reporters during a conference call on Monday that his nephew's drug problems began when he became addicted to painkillers after a sports injury and turned to heroin. Johnson said his nephew died of an overdose within the last few months.

Johnson declined to offer any further details during the call, calling the death a private family matter. A spokesman in Johnson's Washington, D.C., office said he would see if the family would release any more information.

Johnson made the remarks while touting the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, a bill the Senate overwhelmingly passed last week. The measure would create more federal grants to fight opioid abuse and expand treatment programs.