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The announcement about a new drug in the battle against opioid addiction helps to solidify the notion that the opioid crisis is a health issue, unlike the nation’s reaction to the crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980s and 90s.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first non-opioid treatment on Wednesday to ease withdrawal symptoms while quitting opioids. Addicts often experience weeks of vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain and agitation when they stop using the drugs. The new pills can be used a part of a longer treatment plan, the agency said.

Deaths from opioids—such as fentanyl and various prescription painkillers—have ravished rural White communities and increasingly African-American communities. The epidemic has elicited sympathy from lawmakers, law enforcement and President Donald Trump.

In April, Congress proposed various comprehensive plans to address opioids, which were involved in more than 42,000 deaths in 2016, according to the CDC. Federal lawmakers had previously given agencies funding to research solutions, including a massive $3.3 billion omnibus spending bill in March.

This new treatment contributes to the narrative that the opioids crisis is best approached in an understanding way that requires counseling, education and prevention. That’s in stark contrast to the crack epidemic that decimated African-American families. The solution was spending money to build prisons and criminalizing crack addicts.

FDA officials expedited approval of Lucemyra to help addicts kick their opioid addiction, according to the Associated Press.

Federal regulators approved the drug for adult use and required the drug maker, US WoldMeds, to conduct more tests to produce medications for teens and newborns of opioid-addicted mothers.

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New Medication Classified Opioid Epidemic As A Health Issue was originally published on newsone.com

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