President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump walk to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, April 24,2019. The Trumps are traveling to Atlanta to speak at a summit on drug abuse. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Trump, first lady teaming up to address opioids epidemic

April 24, 2019 - 10:24 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump are headed to an event in Atlanta where they're teaming up to provide an update on the nation's opioid epidemic.

Both are to speak Wednesday at the conference for elected leaders and health and law enforcement officials. The first lady focuses on opioids in her national "Be Best" campaign. The president has called the opioids situation a national health emergency.

Opioid abuse claimed a record of nearly 48,000 American lives in 2017. An estimated 2 million people are addicted to the drugs, which include both legal prescription pain medications and illegal drugs like heroin.

There have been signs of progress, though there is debate about whether the crisis has peaked and, if so, what credit the administration deserves.

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