The U.S. government's ongoing fight against prescription drug abuse in America leads off our show today.Thank you for taking 10 minutes to watch.I'm Carl Azuz from the CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia.
Prescription drug and heroin abuse is exploding.Last week, we reported on the Food and Drug Administration's black box warning, its strongest possible warning that will appear on commonly prescribed opioid painkillers.Now, the government is making it easier for doctors to prescribe anti- addiction drugs to help patients get over their dependents on opioids.The White House is also promising more than $100 million in funding to help treat addicts nationwide.Critics say these steps are long overdue, that the problem has already gotten out of hand.President Obama participated in a panel on the subject yesterday. It was moderated by CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
A number that really stuck with me when I first reporting on this was 28,000.It was the number of people who died in 2014 of accidental opioid overdoses.About half of those came, were involved with prescription overdoses.It's a pretty staggering number.There are so many different problems in the world that-where solutions really aren't that obvious and this is a complicated problem.No question about it.There are people with chronic who were caught in the middle.There are people with addiction who were caught in the middle.But I also think it's a very fixable problem.
You know, my job is to promote the safety, the health, the prosperity of the American people, and that encompasses a whole range of things.It means that we're tracking down ISIL leaders, and it means that we're responding to natural disasters, and it means that we're trying to promote a strong economy.And when you look at the staggering statistics, in terms of lives lost, productivity impacted, and costs to communities,but most importantly cost to families, from this epidemic of opioids abuse, it has to be something that is right up there at the top of our radar screen.You mentioned the number 28,000, it's important to recognize that today, we are seeing more people killed because of opioid overdose than traffic accidents.Think about that.A lot of people tragically died of car accidents, and we spend a lot of time and a lot of resources to reduce those fatalities.And the good news is, is that we've actually been very successful.Traffic fatalities are much lower today than they were when I was a kid, because we systematically looked at the data and we looked at the science and we developed strategies, and public education that allowed us to be safer drivers.The problem is here, we've got the trajectory going in the opposite direction.
The president pro temp of California's senate says roughly a third of the state's workforce is paid minimum wage.An agreement between lawmakers, the governor and union is set to raise that wage to $15 an hour statewide.California currently has one of the highest minimum wages in the country. It's $10 an hour.This agreement would require businesses to raise that incrementally to $15 by the year 2022.If there's a recession or state budget problem, the raises could be put on hold.