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Opinion: Actions matter more than titles when fighting the opioids epidemic

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EDITOR'S NOTE: Boris Epshteyn formerly served as a Senior Advisor to the Trump Campaign and served in the White House as Special Assistant to The President and Assistant Communications Director for Surrogate Operations.

WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - Over 33,000 people died from an opioid overdose in 2015. That number has quadrupled since 1999, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

These numbers are devastating.

We can cite big numbers and statistics, but the opioid crisis is felt at a personal level. It’s destroying families and your hometowns. You and I both know that concrete action is what will matter in the end.

The president and his administration are taking this crisis very seriously.

Last month, President Trump said that the opioids crisis is a national emergency. It has yet to formally be classified as such, but it is expected to be. There has been some criticism as to the delay in this formal classification.

Declaring a health crisis a national emergency is a complicated legal process, and the administration is working with the proper agencies to dot the i’s and cross the t’s.

In the meantime, though, the Trump administration is taking important steps to address this pressing issue.

Most notably, and recently, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that it awarded $144.1 million in grants to help prevent and treat opioid addiction. This money will be sent right into your communities, where it has to be.

DHHS also announced that $200 million in grants will be given to local community health centers across the country to help fight this epidemic.

Here’s the bottom line. Labels and classifications are less important as long as resources and funding are allocated to those who need it across the U.S. so that we can fight the scourge of opioids.

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