Illustration by Eddie Alvarez/The Washington Post;
Photos by Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post, U.S. Senate, DEA, iStock
– “Trump declares opioid crisis a public health emergency — live updates”
“Effective today, my administration is officially declaring the opioid crisis a national public health emergency, under federal law,” President Trump said during a Thursday afternoon press conference. Mr. Trump said the federal government is fighting the epidemic “on all fronts,” quoting CBS News.
“Government’s shameful role in opioid crisis”
“MULTIPLE, GLARING government breakdowns are documented in the revealing investigation of the opioid-overdose epidemic by The Post and CBS’s “60 Minutes.” The report exposed weakening federal enforcement of drug distribution; corrosive industry lobbying that crippled that enforcement; and a dysfunctional Congress and White House at a time when a debilitating scourge swept the country.
At the core of the story is the Drug Enforcement Administration, charged with making sure that prescription narcotics do not spill from the legitimate supply chain into the underworld of drug abuse. A DEA unit, the Office of Diversion Control, is supposed to keep pills from being siphoned off by what one former official calls “drug dealers in lab coats.” The investigation revealed how this vital DEA enforcement mission was badly undercut in a bill supported by the drug companies that passed Congress and was signed by President Barack Obama last year without sufficient scrutiny.
The breakdown of enforcement described by reporters Scott Higham and Lenny Bernstein is appalling,” by the Editorial Board of the Washington Post.