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As Trump claims credit for decline in opioid deaths, others see signs of danger ahead

President Trump has claimed some of the credit for the first drop in drug overdose deaths since 1990. But experts say the White House’s enforcement-heavy response isn't so simple.
President Donald Trump Source: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — Ahead of a 2020 race already focused on health care, President Trump is boasting that his administration played a huge role in achieving the first annual drop in overdose deaths in three decades. The drop, he crowed recently, is “tremendous.”

But behind the scenes, his administration’s efforts to address the opioid crisis are increasingly contentious. Two federal agencies are feuding over how to classify certain drugs too dangerous for public consumption. And in the two-plus years since his inauguration, his White House has yet to nominate a leader for the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Public health experts caution that not only is Trump claiming victory too early — his sometimes-chaotic approach might actually be setting back public health efforts to rein in a broader drug

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