The GOP is taking strong steps in the right direction to deal with America’s huge opioid problem, asserts Kevin McCarthy in USA Today. President Trump has deemed this a public health emergency and is working to prevent illegal drugs from coming into the country. He is also tackling the issue of doctors prescribing painkillers too frequently, which can lead to addiction. In 2016 Republicans freed up important resources for states, cities and nonprofit organizations to deal with the opioid epidemic. Congress is constructing over 60 bills to fight the opioid epidemic. Republicans are doing their best to deal with this tragic issue.
Republicans are mishandling America’s opioid crisis by pushing policies that will drive the ineffective war on drugs, argues German Lopez of Vox. One example is harsher laws for the possession of fentanyl. This substance is used to mix with drugs such as heroin and is far more deadly. Republicans like the ‘tough on crime’ approach but making punishments harder doesn’t work. It just exacerbates the problem by throwing more people in jail for longer. Often those that need help the most end up in prison. There should be a bigger focus on treating addicts, rather than handing out tougher punishments. The GOP has yet to learn this lesson.