With people across the country dying at the rate of 53 a day from overdoses of fentanyl and similar compounds — now the leading killers in the opioid epidemic — efforts to stop this scourge ought to come from every corner of the federal government.
But even as President Donald Trump has declared the opioid epidemic a national emergency, some agencies have failed to act as if it is one.
Just last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded an Obama administration policy on marijuana, signaling that the Justice Department may prosecute people selling or using the drug. Regardless of your views on marijuana, deploying limited federal resources to prosecute pot cases amid a raging opioid epidemic is like telling firefighters to inspect smoke detector batteries in one home while the house next door is engulfed in flames.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Postal Service could be doing more to intercept packages of illicit fentanyl coming
Read more at: http://www.suncommercial.com/opinions/article_2f9d843c-f7cd-11e7-8d7a-a7a1348dd038.html
If nothing is done, we can expect a lot of people to die: A forecast by STAT concluded that as many as 650,000 people will die over the next 10 years from opioid overdoses — more than the entire city of Baltimore. The US risks losing the equivalent of a whole American city in just one decade.
That would be on top of all the death that America has already seen in the course of the ongoing opioid epidemic. In 2015, more than 52,000 people died of drug overdoses in America — about two-thirds of which were linked to opioids. The toll is on its way up, with an analysis of preliminary data from the New York Times finding that 59,000 to 65,000 likely died from drug overdoses in 2016.
If you want to understand how we got here, there’s one simple explanation: It’s much easier in
Read more at: https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/8/3/16079772/opioid-epidemic-drug-overdoses