White House commission on opioid crisis works to identify scope, solutions

White House commission on opioid crisis works to identify scope, solutions (Sinclair Broadcast Group)

President Donald Trump's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis met for the third time Wednesday.

The group is working to put together a full report on the scope of the problem and come up with possible solutions to an epidemic that has helped propel overdose deaths to more than 52,000 in 2015.

Some argue it has become the crisis of a generation.

Often the addiction starts with a prescription to opioids, but many turn to the much cheaper and more readily available heroin once they are addicted.

The crisis has reached the doors of Capitol Hill, where lawmakers are trying to find ways to help.

"It is taking so many lives, especially young lives, putting more pressure on our medical and emergency infrastructure," said Rep. Lois Frankel (D- FL).

“What this really requires is a serious investment in treatment, in intervention, in education," said Rep. David Cicilline (D- RI), whose district has been hit particularly hard.

At the White House, members of the commission, headed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, convened to come up with solutions.

Ideas include lowering the rate of opioid prescriptions given to veterans and changing the culture to make it so they’re not a first resort for pain management.

"There’s no demographic that’s untouched," said White House Administration official Kellyanne Conway.

The drugstore CVS is now limiting patients’ opioid prescriptions to just seven days.

But back on the streets of cities like Seattle, Baltimore and Columbus, the help is not coming fast enough.

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