CRACK WAR vs OPIOD EMERGENCY
In October, President Donald Trump declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency. In a much-publicized White House ceremony, an emotional Trump insisted, "Nobody has seen anything like what's going on now," referring to the thousands of Americans overdosing each year from a class of narcotics that includes prescription painkillers, heroin and fentanyl (a synthetic form of heroin).
But we have. Back in the 1980s and early 1990s, the crack cocaine epidemic ravaged poor black communities across the country. When crack arrived in economically depressed urban areas, it proved both powerfully addictive and potentially lucrative. Violent turf wars erupted as dealers fought for control of the market, and the grip of addiction caught many people.