By Kaila Webb, Wellesley College
In 2017, the Trump administration’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis published its final report. It included two notable conclusions: federal funding must be streamlined and organized to make it accessible to states, and addiction is heavily influenced by environmental factors. This has resulted in an opioid crisis that mimics cancer—in that it’s really a myriad of different societal failures that end with a common symptom and diagnosis. My research has shown that states with similar opioid overdose rates achieve these dismal figures in different ways.