Despite Trump promises, White House falling short in opioid fight (CBS News)

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Lead poisoning cases fell 19 percent in Baltimore last year, even as more children tested for exposure (Baltimore Sun)

The number of Baltimore children with lead poisoning fell 19 percent in 2017, even as more children were tested for exposure to the powerful neurotoxin.

Statewide, the number of Maryland children found to have elevated levels of lead in their blood held steady even as the number of children tested increased by 10 percent, according to a Maryland Department of the Environment report released Tuesday.

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Azar Unveils Plan to Help Pregnant Patients Quit Opioids (MedPage Today)

States will get help from the federal government integrating services for pregnant and postpartum Medicaid patients with opioid use disorder under a pilot program announced Tuesday by Health and Hu

Trump declared an emergency over opioids. A new report finds it led to very little. (Vox)

To much fanfare last year, President Donald Trump ordered his administration to declare a public health emergency over the opioid epidemic. “As Americans, we cannot allow this to continue,” Trump said at the time. “It is time to liberate our communities from this scourge of drug addiction.”

When I’ve asked experts about these approaches, it’s not that any of them are bad. It’s that they fall short. For instance, Leana Wen, the former health commissioner of Baltimore (and soon-to-be president of Planned Parenthood), said that the Support for Patients and Communities Act “is simply tinkering around the edges.”

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BALTIMORE -- As Republicans in Congress and the Trump White House continue to craft a health care bill 30 miles to the south, two people overdose on opioids and die every day in Maryland's largest city.

On a street corner in west Baltimore, the extent of the opioid epidemic that has ravaged large swaths of the country was in stark relief Wednesday against the backdrop of a brick wall emblazoned with the words "No Shoot Zone" in spray paint.

In 95-degree heat, men and women of all ages -- black and white -- filed one by one into a white van and dumped out bundles of used needles. Workers with the Baltimore City Health Department handed out brown paper bags containing clean syringes, cookers, filters and rubber bands in exchange. Those who came to turn in their old equipment were users of heroin, fentanyl and carfentanil, a toxic synthetic opioid.

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