OPIOID SERIES:

Dem senator calls for 'war on drugs'

A new "war on drugs" is necessary to combat West Virginia's opioid crisis, Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinDemocrats mull audacious play to block Pompeo Heitkamp becomes first Dem to back Pompeo for secretary of State Trump eyes Cold War statute to keep coal burning: report MORE said Tuesday. 

The West Virginia Democrat's phrasing was a throwback to a highly criticized Nixon-era program of the same name. 

"We need to declare a war on drugs," Manchin said on CNN Tuesday when asked what President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpIG investigating Comey memos over classified information: report Overnight Defense: Congress poised for busy week on nominations, defense bill | Trump to deliver Naval Academy commencement speech | Trump administration appeals decision to block suspected combatant's transfer Top Pruitt aid requested backdate to resignation letter: report MORE should do about the opioid situation. 

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"We've got some places that are really having some success rates, Jake, and most of them are run by reformed addicts," Manchin told host Jake Tapper. 
 
He talked about addicts he has met that started out smoking marijuana but ended up taking prescription drugs, which led to heroin. 
 
"It's just been unbelievable," he said.
 
President Nixon's "war on drugs" in the 1970s is criticized today as having been ineffective and expensive. 
 
Manchin's phrasing was quickly mocked online.