By Pat Warren

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Former President Bill Clinton was in Baltimore on Monday, taking the lead at a summit to address opioid abuse.

The Clinton Foundation and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have committed to ending this public health crisis.

What Governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency in Maryland last year is now considered a national epidemic – opioid overdose.

Clinton said he’s no stranger to the toll of opioid deaths.

“Hillary and I have five friends who have lost their children,” he said.

The opioid epidemic is a priority for the Clinton Foundation, as the former president draws from loss of friends.

“One of them had a son working for Hillary when he died,” he said. “He was a very smart man, but nobody ever told him you couldn’t pop a pill to get a buzz after drinking five beers and go to sleep, or you might never wake up.”

Recent statistics show in the first half of this year, there have been close to 1,200 overdose deaths in Maryland.

“Combatting the national drug demand and opioid question,” Trump said.

The Trump administration last week declared opioids a public health emergency, something Paul Martin, who works with addicts at Baltimore Station, has seen spike this year.

“We find that individuals use opioids and other illicit drugs because they want to change the way that they feel,” Martin said.

“We need to really be taking action,” said former U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski.

Mikulski, and Congressman Elijah Cummings joined Clinton and Johns Hopkins in that call for action at the summit on Monday.

“We would like to stop every single, solitary person we can from dying,” Clinton said.

64,000 Americans died of opioid overdoses last year.

The summit centered on a report by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

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