Published: Thu, August 10, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Trump's Solution to Opioid Crisis: Tell Kids Drugs Are 'No Good'

Trump's Solution to Opioid Crisis: Tell Kids Drugs Are 'No Good'

WASHINGTON -President Donald Trump, who promised during his campaign to help solve the opioid epidemic, is scheduled to meet with Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price Tuesday to discuss what can be done. But he stopped short of actually declaring a state of emergency: "We believe that the resources that we need to bring to bear on the opioid crisis at this point can be addressed without the declaration of the emergency".

Price said the president is aware of the magnitude of the opioid epidemic and that several agencies within the administration are working on a comprehensive strategy to be presented to the president "soon".

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.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 33,000 people across the U.S. died of opioid overdoses in 2015.

But Trump's ignoring the entire report - there will be no state of emergency declared - which explained why Christie flew off for an Italy vacation rather than appear with Trump. "Strong law enforcement is absolutely vital to having a drug-free society", Trump said while speaking to media at his New Jersey golf club.

You can read the latest comments from Price and Conway here. Even after Trump's address yesterday, it remains unclear exactly how he plans to approach the problem.

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In 2015, West Virginia had the highest overdose death rate in the United States. Although the declaration could provide additional federal resources, it could also be used to ramp up a punitive response, they said.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse reported in January that drug overdoses claimed the lives of 52,404 Americans previous year, with more than 60% of those deaths related to opioid drugs.

While he acknowledged the severity of the problem and the threat opioids pose to all Americans, Trump did not talk about expanding addiction treatment or access to the overdose-reversal drug naloxone, two of the recommendations his commission on opioids made in its interim report last week. "We're going to be bringing them up and bringing them up rapidly". 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 feels the opioid crisis is serious enough to justify an emergency declaration from the Trump administration.

In February, Christie passed one of the toughest new laws in the country to combat the opioid epidemic.

"When we hear the repeating of the 1980s-era "Just Say No" that, we think history has shown, is just not enough", he told MetroNews. "We know that this involves public health, the medical community, the health care delivery system, law enforcement, education, local and statewide elected officials, devastated families, and those in treatment and recovery".

On Tuesday morning, before he announced he would speak, Trump tweeted a report from Fox & Friends about a new study that says overdose deaths have been underreported.

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