Treating the opioid abuse crisis shouldn\u2019t start on an emergency call.\r\nOr even in a hospital\u2019s emergency room, for that matter.\r\nIndeed, many have taken the fight against opioid overdoses to courtrooms, regulatory agencies and schools and into the marketplace.\r\nBut recently this battle began going to the one place, aside from cemeteries, where many fear to go: Taxes.\r\nIn the past year alone, at least 15 state legislatures began considering bills that would impose taxes or fees on prescription painkillers.\r\nThese measures have the potential to raise millions for addiction treatment and prevention programs.\r\nOne Pennsylvania bill was introduced in 2015 while a federal proposal was introduced in 2016, but momentum for such legislation has gone full tilt recently.\r\nMost of these bills have yet to get out of committees, but despite intense lobbying, the idea is gaining bipartisan support. The idea is to force drug manufacturers and their distributors to pay for the damage done to a generation.\r\nAs one Montana state senator put it, \u201cYou\u2019re creating the problem. You\u2019re going to fix it.\u201d\r\nDrugmakers argue that any tax on prescription drugs would only be passed on to patients and taxpayers.\r\nIt furthermore might mean, they claim, some cancer patients or those on end-of-life care may no longer be able to afford the prescription they need.\r\nIt\u2019s apparent the pharmaceutical industry\u2019s lobby is more intent on spending money defending its position than being part of a solution.\r\nOne 2016 investigation determined that opioid makers and their allies spent $880 million on political campaigns and lobbying from 2006-\u201915.\r\nTo date, these drugmakers and distributors have been on the wrong end of some litigation, but any legal settlements didn\u2019t begin to cover the damage done.\r\nYet, these companies insist there are other ways to pay for addiction treatment and prevention.\r\nWe\u2019re curious what that is besides further saddling up taxpayers, who are already are on the hook for billions in state and federal budgets.\r\nOne new approach is a surcharge New York state now requires of drugmakers based on the proportion of opioids they sell in that state. Another idea is raising the annual licensing fee from as little as several hundred dollars in many states to into the thousands on opioid manufacturers.\r\nTo their credit, opioid manufacturers are curbing production, but the overdose epidemic they fueled remains. Yet, many drug users have resorted to illegal heroin and fentanyl as a result of the tightened supply and prescriptions.\r\nBut these companies should be obligated \u2014 by mandate or otherwise \u2014 to boost treatment for an epidemic they dialed up and that enriched them beyond measure.