President Barack Obama is touting the success of a new initiative to combat the opioid epidemic, saying the White House has seen a “significant” improvement in the use of prescription opioid painkillers, including oxycodone and fentanyl.

In a White House news conference Monday, Obama cited several states that have seen decreases in the opioid crisis since the beginning of the year and highlighted a series of recent efforts to expand access to medication-assisted treatment.

The president, speaking at the National Institutes of Health, said that the new White House Task Force on Opioid Prescription Abuse and Illicit Drug Use is expected to provide more details later this week.

But he did not specify when that task force might begin its work.

The president said the initiative will look at ways to address prescription drug abuse and diversion and expand access for people who are struggling to find pain medication.

He said he has ordered a White Houses team of experts to study the opioid problem, as well as its causes and implications, and “to help make recommendations to address the opioid addiction and overdose epidemic that is devastating our communities and our nation.”

He did not say whether the administration is preparing a formal prescription opioid strategy or developing a plan to address other aspects of the opioid abuse problem.

Opioid overdoses have more than tripled in the United States since last fall, when the federal government estimated more than 33,000 Americans died from the drugs.

The crisis has left many communities with a shortage of prescription pain medication and other medical supplies, and the opioid deaths have become the highest of any time in American history.

The opioid epidemic has left communities with little hope of obtaining the necessary medication for pain relief, as the supply of pain medication has increased, according to federal data.

During his news conference, Obama stressed that opioids are not a new threat to Americans.

He acknowledged that the country’s opioid epidemic is still ongoing, but said that there has been a significant increase in deaths from prescription drugs since January.

In response to the opioid death toll, Obama said the U.S. must find ways to reduce the supply and availability of the drugs, and he urged lawmakers to work with the administration to pass legislation that would require drug manufacturers to provide adequate and effective pain medications.

“We know that we have to find a way to reduce these overdoses and make sure that we get the supply we need to treat the pain,” Obama said.

“We have a responsibility to those who are in pain, and we also have a moral responsibility to help those who have lost loved ones.

We can do that by ensuring that we are making sure that pain medication is available, that it is available to those in pain and to those suffering.”