One unique aspect of American culture is that when the government won’t stop corporate wrongdoing, the plaintiff’s bar rushes in to fill the void. (Image: Shutterstock)

How is the U.S. going to end its opioid crisis?

The answer really shouldn’t be that difficult. The president goes on TV to declare a national emergency. He increases the budget of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration by several billion dollars, with the money earmarked for curbing opioid addiction. The Department of Health and Human Services cracks down on excessive opioid distribution, while the Justice Department goes after opioid manufacturers like Purdue Pharma Inc., distributors like McKesson Corp. and egregious overprescribing doctors. At the same time, the government underwrites therapies that block opioid cravings and takes other steps to help addicts break the habit. As the number of opioid-related deaths declines, the president takes a victory lap as his re-election nears. 

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