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Wednesday - November 1, 2017 12:18 am

As feds announce a war on opioid crisis, locally, doc waits for more info

Written by
Associated Press Associated Press

Trump promised detailed report this week of steps to curb problem

The federal government is paying attention.

President Donald Trump is apparently waging war on the opioid crisis, calling for a comprehensive review on the situation.

Dr. Chris Eberlein with Gundersen Health System in La Crosse says the president's remarks were a mixed bag.

"It was nice to hear a little more recognition from the national government on this problem," Eberlein said. "I would like to see more specifics from the final report that is coming out."

Trump and the federal government promised a detailed report this week of steps to be taken to curb the problem.

Eberlein says the heroin task force at the local level will still play a huge role, since it knows the unique circumstances surrounding the issue in the La Crosse area better than anyone.

He says those struggling now can't be left in the cold.

"Treatment's expensive," Eberlein said. "It's hard for people to get into it. Long term, the most cost-effective way to deal with this problem is prevention.

"But right now we have a large amount of addicts we can't forget."

If and when there's additional funding, Eberlein believes it could be distributed in a number of places. One area, however, that should definitely see attention is the younger generation.

"The perception of drug harm has gone down in our high school and middle schoolers, which is really concerning in the future for us," Eberlein said.

He suggested a media campaign with ads like the ones that attacked the negative consequences of smoking.

Last modified on Wednesday - November 1, 2017 1:11 am
Drew Kelly

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