Episode
October 31, 2017

How do you tackle the opioid crisis in the United States?

Tens of thousands are dying every year as activists push for crisis to be declared a national emergency.
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In 2016, 64,000 people in the United States died of drug overdoses, according to the US government. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), says drug overdoses are the leading cause of death among Americans under the age of 50. The majority of them from heroin, fentanyl and other opioids.

The Trump administration has said it plans to work with Congress on the budget to include more money for prevention, detection, and treatment. But in the 2018 budget the administration submitted to Congress, the White House cut nearly $400 billion in treatment spending from the department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

This week, a White House commission on the opioid crisis is set to deliver their final report. The news comes as President Trump last week stopped short of labeling the crisis a "national emergency" and instead declared it a "public health emergency". What the declaration actually means is unclear. But had the president declared an emergency federal funding would have been allocated.

So how do you address this public health emergency without any funding? We pose that  question to drug policy experts and those working at the local to tackle the crisis and ask them what they hope to see from the Trump administration.

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:

Josh Rushing @joshrushing
Host, Fault Lines Al Jazeera
aljazeera.com/programmes/faultlines/

Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno @MMcFarlandSM
Executive Director, Drug Policy Alliance 
drugpolicy.org

Indra Cidambi @RecoveryCNT333 
Medical Director, Center for Network Therapy 
recoverycnt.com

Read more:
Heroine's children - Al Jazeera
Trump declares opioid crisis a public health emergency - Al Jazeera   
Doctors react to Trump's opioid emergency declaration - NPR 

What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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