ICYMI: "The Opioid Crisis Takes On An Urgent Tone"

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“The Opioid Crisis Takes On An Urgent Tone”
The Record Editorial Board
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The opioid crisis takes on an urgent tone
Editorial Board
The Record

When Gov. Chris Christie cares about an issue, he can be a bulldog about it. The issue he seems to care most about these days is the horrific opioid epidemic that has gripped New Jersey and the rest of the nation, and continues to take its toll, state by state, city by city, and street by street.

On Monday, the special presidential commission that Christie leads announced its interim report on ways to begin to confront the crisis. Some strategies mirror initiatives the governor has implemented, or tried to implement, in New Jersey. While the panel’s work is not done, it has made a start, and among its priorities is asking President Donald Trump to act, where he can, using executive authority.

“We need to have the executive branch, their departments and the Congress completely focused on this issue as the national emergency that it is,” Christie said in a conference call Monday.

Recommendations in the interim report include revising state laws to allow all law enforcement officers to carry the opioid antidote naloxone, requiring prescriber education in medical and dental schools to enhance prevention efforts, and granting Medicaid waivers to all 50 states, potentially freeing up “thousands” of beds in treatment facilities.

In pushing Trump to declare the opioid crisis a national public health emergency, Christie noted that more than 560,000 people died of a drug overdose between 1999 and 2015 – more people than the population of Atlanta, he said. He also noted that 142 Americans die every day from overdoses.

While it is easy to applaud Christie and the commission for their diligence – including taking in some 8,000 public comments after an initial meeting in June – the White House must decide if it will truly invest in this important issue. If it is really a national emergency, and we believe it is, then it requires serious commitment, and a serious investment that seeks to rescue addicts no matter their ZIP code or their socioeconomic status.

Full Article HERE.

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