National leadership needed to fight the opioid crisis

By Diana H. Fishbein and Glenn Sterner, The Hill opinion contributors

The opioid crisis claims more than 91 Americans per day from overdoses; more than die of car crashes, gun violence or murders. Although the rate of opioid addiction has risen recently at an alarming rate, there is a misimpression that legitimate opioid use for pain invariably places patients on a fast track to addiction, with many turning to illicit prescriptions and, in many cases, heroin. In reality, only a small portion (1 in 100,000) of those who become dependent on legitimately prescribed opiates become addicted to opioids, such as heroin. So what factors explain the opioid crisis and where should we devote our precious resources? Click here to read more.