More funding is needed

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?

More money, indeed, should be spent combatting the epidemic, which has even impacted the children of our state, as noted by DCYF Foster Care Manager Kathleen Companion.

DCYF is seeing an increased number of children thrust into foster care because of drug use and overdose deaths.

We must say enough is enough and make adequate funding available to combat this scourge. Through funding, compassion and education, we can overcome this crisis.