‘It didn’t happen overnight’: How the U.S. opioid crisis got so bad

After President Trump signed the nation’s newest opioid law into effect in October 2018, some people raised questions about whether the legislation would be effective and how opioid addiction became such a big problem in the first place.

As far back as October 2017, Trump declared the U.S. opioid crisis to be a public health emergency under federal law: “I am directing all executive agencies to use every appropriate emergency authority to fight the opioid crisis,” the president said.