Trump Wants to Fight the Opioid Crisis With More Drug War
Trump Wants to Fight the Opioid Crisis With More Drug War
Fighting the scourge of opioids
10 August, 2017, 00:38
President Donald Trump yesterday vowed that the US will fight and win the battle against the deadly opioid epidemic but stopped short of declaring it a national emergency as a White House Commission recommended last week.
Price said most national emergencies are declared to address a focused, time-limited crisis such as the threat from the Zika virus or damage from Hurricane Sandy.
Alaska Chief Medical Officer Jay Butler told me it's hard to say exactly how such a declaration could help his state without specifics from Trump, but predicted it would "open the possibly for a faster stream of resources" from the federal government to the state. "When you have the capacity of Yankee stadium or Dodger stadium dying every single year in this nation, that's a crisis that has to be given incredible attention", he said.
Price said the briefing included discussion of policies outlined in the commission's report, including expanding resources for treatment and recovery, increasing access to the overdose-reversal drug naloxone, and improving data collection and sharing efforts.
Christie was not in New Jersey while Trump and his aides discussed the opioid crisis, the governor's pet issue.
Trump has pushed for deep cuts in federal aid to states for their Medicaid programs even as Medicaid has emerged as one of the most important tools in combating the crisis.
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"You have a big problem in West Virginia, and we are going to solve that problem", said Trump.
Melania Trump during the campaign said among the issues she would focus on as first lady was prevention of cyber bullying.
But Democrats did not wait for Mr. Trump's event in New Jersey to criticize him for failing to live up to his own promises to take action to stop the epidemic, accusing him of nothing more than "empty rhetoric".
While experts say stemming the flow of drugs is part of any solution, many, including top administration officials, have said that law enforcement alone can not end an addiction crisis. The fatal overdose rate in 2016 reached a record 19.9 deaths per 100,000 population between July and September, compared to 16.7 per 100,000 over the same period in 2015, according to federal estimates released Tuesday. "We're not letting it go by", Trump said.
Public health officials share growing concern about the opiate crisis, which killed 59,000 people previous year, according to data analysis from the New York Times.
Emergency declaration or not, it appears that Trump continues weighing enforcement-focused initiatives, including those advocated by Sessions.
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