The Trump administration is poised to declare the opioid epidemic a national emergency – yet far too few people are receiving treatment for their addiction

With an estimated 142 Americans now dying every day from drug overdoses, the Trump administration is poised to declare the opioid crisis a national emergency.

Two-thirds of those deaths are accounted for by prescription painkillers such as Percocet and OxyContin and the street drugs heroin and fentanyl. The number of opioid pills prescribed in the US has quadrupled since 1999, as has the number of opioid overdoses, the interim report of the presidential commission on combating drug addiction and the opioid crisis noted in July. Yet “there has not been an overall change in the amount of pain Americans have reported in that period”, the commission wrote, and far too few people receive any treatment for their addiction.

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