About 90 Americans die every day due to opioid drug overdoses. Opioids are powerful painkiller drugs that attach to receptors in the brain. Once attached, they send signals to the brain which blocks pain, slows breathing, and has a general calming and anti-depressing effect.
President Trump finally declared it as a ‘public health emergency’ on Thursday (but not the national health emergency that it really is). A ‘public health emergency’ does not appropriate federal funds the way a ‘national emergency’ does.
Congress is not helping. Politicians are addicted to money from big pharma lobbyists, as comedian Trevor Noah noted on his Daily Show. (Leave it to comedians to tell us the truth). In 2015, the American Medical Association petitioned Congress to outlaw the running of commercials for prescription drugs on TV, to no avail. In one case that came to light, pharmacies in a West Virginia town with 400 residents, received 9 million opioid drug pills in one year. Did Congress pass a law that made it easier for the Drug Enforcement Agency to prosecute shady distributors of prescription drugs? Of course not: they made it harder.