Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

Trump vows to beat opioid crisis

Christie 'Confident' Trump will Accept Opioid Panel's Recommendations Fighting the scourge of opioids
Dexter Carr | 10 August, 2017, 00:10

Last Monday, Trump's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the opioid crisis recommended in its interim report that he declare a national emergency to allow the crisis to be addressed better than it is now.

However, when asked why the president has not officially declared the opioid crisis a national emergency and whether he plans to, Price said that most national emergencies that were declared in the past "focused on a specific area, a time-limited problem - either an infectious disease or a specific threat to public health".

By choosing not to do so, President Trump is ignoring the recommendations of a White House task force put into place by him, though Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price says "emergency", is just a word.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, almost 35,000 people across America died of heroin or opioid overdoses in 2015.

Aides have said Mr. Trump was joking, but they offered no explanation for Mr. Rosenberg's absence from the opioid meeting, instead referring questions to the agency.

President Donald Trump waves as he departs the White House Friday en route to his New Jersey country club for vacation.

"The lack of funding for essential treatment and recovery services is a persistent barrier to effectively addressing the opioid crisis", reads the letter, which was signed by nine other Democrats.

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Trump seemed to embrace one recommendation of the commission, even if he did not explicitly say so.

"It could give the administration leverage to push for new sentencing legislation, or legislation that enhances drug penalties or a law enforcement response", said Grant Smith, deputy director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, a nonprofit that advocates for a public health-focused approach to drug laws. Everybody is threatened. Drug overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, and opioid overdose deaths have almost quadrupled since 1999. "If they do start, it's awfully tough to get off", he said.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that there were almost 35,000 deaths from opioid overdose in 2015, up from over 11,000 in 2002. Despite the recommendation of the presidential opioid commission, the president did not declare a national emergency.

"We're going to have a tremendous team of experts and people that want to beat this disgusting situation that has happened in our country - and we will", Trump told reporters.

The White House opioid commission is slated to release a final plan to Trump on October 1. In 2014, 2 million Americans were believed to be addicted to prescription painkillers, with Vicodin and Oxycontin among the leading opioids involved in an overdose. He emerged from the briefing with two ideas for combating the epidemic: Telling young people that opioids are bad and strengthening the war on drugs.

At the press briefing, Conway said both the president and first lady see the situation as an epidemic.

A total 52,404 people died from overdose in 2015, a 75 percent increase from the 29,813 overdose deaths in 2005, the NCHS reported.

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