23 lawmakers call on Trump to add $9.3B to 2018 budget to combat opioid epidemic

A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers is urging President Donald Trump to allocate funds to combat the nation's opioid epidemic in the budget for fiscal year 2018.

Twenty-three members of Congress signed a letter on March 7 imploring President Donald Trump to include $9.3 billion in the budget to fund the current infrastructure Congress established under the previous administration to address the epidemic.

This infrastructure includes 34 programs at the HHS, the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Department of Justice, which are designed to reduce and treat drug abuse through prevention treatment, overdose reversal, law enforcement and recovery support, among other initiatives.

"This epidemic is costing our nation $700 billion nationally in health, crime and lost productivity costs, but that is nothing compared to the toll it is taking on our families and friends," said Congressman Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, co-chair of the Congressional Addiction Treatment and Recovery Caucus. "In my state of Ohio, drug overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death, [W]e cannot continue to allow heroin and prescription drugs to reap havoc on our communities. It is time for President Trump to do the right thing and provide the money needed to put an end to this horrible epidemic."

More articles on opioids: 
West Virginia county files lawsuit against drug wholesalers, pharmacies for role in opioid epidemic 
Dartmouth-Hitchcock achieves 53% reduction in opioid prescriptions for outpatient procedures 
West Virginia overdoses overwhelm state burial assistance program

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