Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

Top leaders from across the country convened at the White House last week for an opioid summit and talked about ways to combat the deadly scourge which claimed more than 42,000 lives in 2016.That's an average of 115 deaths every day. The conference covered various aspects of the crisis including prevention, treatment, recovery, and law enforcement. President Trump said his priority will be on law enforcement. The summit is a good step for leaders and policy makers to share ideas and plan strategy. But there is little talk of the need to strengthen families. There was no talk of the spiritual dynamic or the roles that churches can play. Until we address the root of the problem and ask why is there such demand for dangerous drugs in the first place, we're not likely to find a lasting solution.