Federal money for opioid crisis a small step forward

Opioids, drugs, prescription pain killers

CHERRY HILL, N.J. (AP) – Congress is putting record funding into the fight against the nation’s deepening opioid drug crisis.

But some officials and advocates don’t think the $4.6 billion in the federal appropriation bill signed Friday by President Donald Trump is enough to establish the kind of treatment system that would help solve the epidemic.

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Former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy, a Democrat who served on Trump’s opioid commission, said Congress needs to recognize the epidemic as “a huge gorilla on the nation’s shoulder” and spend billions more.

The allocation includes funding for states, research, drug treatment programs and law enforcement. It’s about three times as much as the nation spent last year addressing opioids.

Republican U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt calls the wide-ranging funding “a major step.”

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3/25/2018 10:14:43 AM (GMT -4:00)