Published: Nov 30, 2017, 2:38 pm • Updated: Nov 30, 2017, 4:15 pm
If the opioid epidemic was simply a problem of supply – people being able to access drugs too easily – then a targeted new effort in Appalachia announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions this week would be a huge stride toward combating the crisis.
The problem with this approach, however, is that experts agree the opioid epidemic is all about demand. Far too many Americans rely on opioid painkillers, creating a huge customer base for illicitly gained prescription drugs and more serious street drugs, such as heroin and fentanyl.
Sessions’s new plan involves sending more Drug Enforcement Administration agents to the areas where opioid abuse is most rampant. But those fighting the epidemic on the ground say the law enforcement strategy must be coupled with medical help for those suffering from addiction, or the Trump administration won’t get very far in its efforts.
“This is a