A Seven-Step Plan for Ending the Opioid Crisis

Time to clean up.

Photographer: Liz O. Baylen/Los Angeles Times

The opioid epidemic is now a full-blown national crisis, yet the federal government continues to dawdle. President Donald Trump declared opioid addiction a public health emergency, and he talks a tough game. But he has not taken forceful action. If he will not lead, Congress must — and now, before the crisis grows even worse.

Opioid overdose deaths rose 28 percent in 2016, to 42,000 men, women and children. Some 2.6 million more Americans are addicted to opioids, and communities in every region of the country are suffering from the resulting trauma. Largely as a result, life expectancy declined in 2016 for a second straight year — something that has not happened since the early 1960s.

QuickTake Heroin and Opioids

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