Is it enough?
Federal officials plan to spend $4.6 billion to battle the opioid addiction crisis this year. That represents a substantial new emphasis on dealing with a very real crisis.
But is it enough?
Drug abuse is killing about 42,000 people a year in the United States. Yet much more federal money is spent on other health concerns. For example, the Kaiser Family Foundation has found the government spends about $7 billion a year to combat AIDS. Advances in health care for AIDS patients have lowered the death rate greatly.
AIDS remains a killer, of course. Federal funding to lessen the toll from that scourge and others is important. But given the terrible toll being taken by substance abuse, should Washington re-examine its priorities?