The scale of America’s opioid crisis can be daunting. The latest numbers show that more than 72,000 Americans died of a drug overdose in 2017, most of them involving opioids. The tragic statistics are a reminder of why President Trump has made combating the opioid crisis a top priority for his presidency.
But everywhere the crisis has struck, there are signs of hope and resilience. Earlier this year, I visited a clinic in Dayton, Ohio — one of the hardest hit communities in the country — that treats new mothers struggling with addiction and their infants born physically dependent on opioids.
We met a young mother who was just a few months into recovery from opioid addiction. One day, late in her pregnancy, she got in a car crash on her way to buy drugs from a dealer. The crash sent her to the hospital, where her baby was born — alive, but dependent on opioids. If she had not gone to the hospital that day, doctors said, her baby probably would not have lived. Today, she is working and able to share her story of recovery.
Each life saved from addiction is an important victory. And while the epidemic still rages, we are now seeing signs of national progress.
Read the full op-ed in USA Today.