The number of people that police in St. Louis have been able to save using the heroin overdose antidote naloxone, or Narcan, has declined by approximately 30 percent this year, compared to last year, according to the Associated Press.
The Drug Enforcement Administration will classify illicit versions of fentanyl at the same level as heroin, Reuters reports. The action will make it easier for federal prosecutors and agents to prosecute traffickers of all forms of fentanyl-related substances, the agency said.
Hospitals are struggling to deal with an overwhelming number of patients with diseases that result from intravenous opioid use, including hepatitis C, endocarditis and the antibiotic-resistant infection MRSA.
President Trump will declare the opioid crisis a public health emergency on Thursday, USA Today reports. The order waives regulations and gives states more flexibility in how they use federal funds to combat the crisis.
President Trump’s opioid commission last week focused on health insurance companies’ role in contributing to the addiction crisis. The commission is scheduled to deliver its final report on November 1.