BATON ROUGE, La. — Gov. John Bel Edwards traveled to Washington to attend President Donald Trump’s speech on fighting the opioid epidemic.

Louisiana’s governor joined leaders of five other states at Thursday’s White House event in which Trump declared the opioid crisis a nationwide public health emergency. Others included Govs. Bill Walker of Alaska, Chris Christie of New Jersey, Chris Sununu of New Hampshire, Matt Bevin of Kentucky and Paul LePage of Maine.

Edwards praised Trump’s declaration, saying it will give states more tools to combat addiction.

Attending the event with Edwards was Louisiana Health Secretary Rebekah Gee. Edwards also met privately with the nation’s acting drug czar, Richard Baum, to discuss opportunities for Louisiana to work with the White House on combatting drug abuse.

Louisiana averages more opioid prescriptions than it has residents.

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