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Judging by lawmakers’ words, addiction might be the most bipartisan topic in Washington.

For years, Democrats and Republicans alike have made speeches, authored bills, and issued statements decrying the national drug overdose crisis. The opioid epidemic even ranks as one of the four elements of President Biden’s “Unity Agenda” — priorities supposedly so uncontroversial that Capitol Hill could tackle them quickly and without fuss.


Judging lawmakers by their actions, however, leaves a distinctly different impression. With just weeks remaining in the current session, Congress appears poised to let Biden’s first two years in office come and go without enacting any significant reforms to the country’s system for preventing and treating addiction — a potential missed opportunity that advocates warn could cost thousands of lives.

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