The opioid crisis has crippled communities across the United States and it is only continuing to grow. The United States’ increasing death count is the latest consequence of this escalating public health crisis. In 2016 alone, deaths as a result of drug overdose likely killed more people in a single year than the Vietnam War did in nearly 20 years. Also, in 2015, the number of deaths caused by an overdose was nearly equal to the deaths caused by a car accident, and there are no signs that these numbers are going down. Now, Donald Trump’s opioid epidemic commission is asking him to declare a state of emergency over the opioid crisis.
In order to prevent this crisis from growing even more, Trump’s opioid epidemic commission is suggesting several recommendations to help combat this epidemic. In order to improve access to medication-assisted treatment, the commission asks to immediately establish and fund a federal program to reduce addiction fatalities. The commission also hopes to fund more research for painkillers other than opioids. Much of this epidemic stems from the explosion of prescription painkiller drugs used in the late 1990s and early 2000s and furthering this research will hopefully find alternatives to opioids that aren’t addictive.