The opioid crisis is the challenge of this generation

August 16, 2019, 10:30 AM EST

_______________________________________________The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the view of The Hill.

Every generation of Americans faces a defining . Our founding generation, when faced with a fundamental choice, chose independence — knowing full well the potential cost. World War II’s “Greatest Generation,” with democracy as their cause, fought to defend freedom across continents and liberated the world. Time and time again, the same story repeats — when faced with a generational challenge, the American people stand up and win.

However, the challenges of each generation aren’t always announced by declarations of war or attacks from foreign lands. Sometimes they creep up and hide in the shadows, staying unnoticed until their damage becomes too clear to ignore. Such is the case now.

The opioid crisis truly is a crisis in every sense of the word. Each day, over 130 people die within our borders due to the effects of an opioid overdose — that’s a 9/11-size tragedy happening every 23 days. Prescription pain relievers, heroin, and powerful synthetic opioids like fentanyl ravage the lives of Americans across the nation. From the richest of cities to the poorest of river valleys, the carnage caused by opioid addiction knows no bounds.

No one can say there is a single be-all, end-all solution to this problem. But what can be said is that the steps the Trump administration has taken toward addressing the problem have been in the right direction.

According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control, the number of deaths resulting from drug overdoses is finally on the decline, reversing the trend that has characterized past years. This is something every conscientious American can stand behind, regardless of political affiliation.

The fact that the crisis transcends political affiliation has allowed the administration to act in unprecedented ways. In the early days of his presidency, President Donald Trump declared a nationwide public health emergency to allocate much needed resources toward addressing the epidemic. Bipartisan legislation such as the SUPPORT for Patients and Community Act made medical treatment for opioid addiction more available and accessible while getting tough on some of the most damaging drugs flooding our streets. The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a partnership with Health and Human Services to support rural communities in their war against opioid abuse and, in a crackdown on opioid fraud, the Justice Department charged over 400 medical professionals prescribing opioids unnecessarily to struggling addicts.

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