By Barry McCaffrey and Jessica Hulsey Nickel
Original Source: usatoday.com
This is a medical crisis virtually without precedent in our country and it needs to be treated accordingly, from the exam room to the legislature.
Our nation is not yet succeeding in addressing the opioid crisis, as exemplified by the latest drug overdose numbers just released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 2016, we lost more than 63,000 Americans to drug overdoses broadly, an increase of 21% over the previous year.
The relentless devastation is being felt by far too many families and communities. The country’s response to this problem has been hampered by our failure to recognize addiction as a disease that requires comprehensive health solutions.When the H1N1 flu pandemic broke out in this country just overeight years ago, the nation mobilizedto contain the outbreak and treat the sick. We developed new vaccinations, public health protocols, physician education and raised awareness of the disease and how to prevent it. Congress even put…click here to continue reading