The President’s declaration that the heroin and opioid epidemic is a national health emergency is a long overdue important step. Massachusetts has been at the forefront in the development and implementation of legislation that supports identified opportunities for prevention, enforcement, and treatment and these efforts need continued support and refinement. We need to leave partisan politics out of this and take urgent, comprehensive actions that are based in sound reasoning and lead to results. As a country we need to secure our borders, both northern and southern, in effort to reduce drug trafficking. We need to crack down on the people who are fueling and profiting from this crisis, at all levels, including on the street as well as in the pharmaceutical boardrooms. We need to eliminate perceived governmental incentives for Medicare reimbursement based on pain measures in ALL settings of care. We need to support national as well as local commercial and non-profit efforts to promote both physical and mental health and wellness programs that seek and provide alternative approaches to pain management, overall wellness, and care and we need to listen to our researchers and help uncover and define additional opportunities to save lives.