Each year, SAMHSA holds Prevention Day as an opportunity to share best practices and data with professionals who work day in and day out to end the cycles of substance use disorder sweeping our country. It’s usually a chance to learn what “preventionists” on the front lines are experiencing, and how our priorities at SAMHSA and their realities intersect.

I had the honor of addressing these health professionals this year—starting with a status report on the nation’s opioid crisis, providing updates and ending with a brief examination of the risks of marijuana consumption. As many of you may know, the opioid fentanyl has had a horrific impact on our nation: Its potency and often-stealthy addition to other drugs have caused the surges in fatal overdoses seen in recent years.

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