Pugh, other city officials urge comprehensive U.S. help on 'desperate' opioid issues (Baltimore Sun)

With 175 Americans dying each day from drug overdoses, the opioid crisis is akin to “a plane crashing every day,” Mayor Catherine Pugh said on Friday as she and other Baltimore officials urged Congress to approve comprehensive legislation to combat the epidemic.

Cummings and Warren, both Democrats, sought to use the forum — nationally televised by C-SPAN — to promote legislation that would provide $100 billion over 10 years for services to combat substance use disorders. It is modeled after 1990’s Ryan White Act that provided billions of federal dollars to combat the AIDS crisis.

“This is what we on the front lines have been asking for,” said Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen, who moderated the panel.

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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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