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Children and the Opioid Crisis

Publication Year: 
Personal Author: 
Marian Wright Edelman
Corporate Author: 
Children's Defense Fund
Page Count: 

President Trump’s announcement yesterday reminded us all that the opioid crisis is a public health emergency, but in fact it is also a national emergency and we must do so much more. Daily we read articles and see searing reports about the opioid crisis. We’ve learned about the role of some doctors and drug companies in exacerbating it. We heard recently about how Congress was complicit in making it harder for the Drug Enforcement Administration to stop drug companies that were shipping suspicious amounts of opioids. We read about parents whose young adult sons and daughters end up in prison and who are desperate for treatment for loved ones. We keep learning more about the variety of opioids including heroin and extremely potent synthetic opioids like fentanyl coming from China. We read about the toll the continuing crisis and all the deaths are taking on first responders, police, treatment staff, nurses and doctors, families and grandparents being asked to step in to help. But we don’t read enough about its toll on children.

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