Monday, 23 October, 2017

Trump pledges U.S. will beat opioid drug epidemic

Trump relatively quiet on opioid crisis despite campaign vows Elsa 2017 Getty Images
Saul Franklin | 10 August, 2017, 00:36

Last week, the presidential opioid commission, chaired by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, had recommended Trump administration to declare a national emergency to combat opioids.

After having been recommended by a White House task force to take immediate action concerning the opioid crisis, President Trump has decided against declaring a national state of emergency.

"The time has come to declare it a national emergency", said Lou Gargiulo, a Hampton Falls man who served as Trump's Rockingham County campaign co-chairman.

"So far, Attorney General Sessions' escalation of the war on drugs and President Trump's attempts to take away health care and treatment from millions of people is extremely worrisome", said Smith. "Look, when you have the capacity of Yankee Stadium or Dodger Stadium dying every single year in this nation, that's a crisis that had to be given incredible attention, and the president is giving it that attention".

The commission recommended that the treatment facilities should be expanded across the U.S., doctors should be educated and equipped about the proper way to prescribe pain medication and police officers ought to be equipped with the anti-overdose remedy Naloxone.

While large amounts of heroin have been brought from Mexico in the past decade, and New Hampshire has been hard-hit by the opioid epidemic, on Monday it became the latest state to sue the makers of OxyContin for fueling the crisis with its marketing tactics in the 1990s. "There has been insufficient investment in treatment options by the federal government and it has made a national response to this crisis slow and inconsistent". In an initial preliminary report issued last week, the commission focused on treatment, calling on Trump to make it easier for Medicaid to pay for treatment programs and to equip police officers with naloxone, a lifesaving anti-overdose medication.

"Most national emergencies that have been declared in the area of public health emergency have been focused on a specific area, a time-limited problem - either an infectious disease or a specific threat to public health", Price said.

He said that preventing potential addicts from even beginning to abuse drugs is key and that should include starting the conversation when they're young.

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In brief remarks to reporters before meeting with Mr. Price on Tuesday, Mr. Trump didn't mention the report or its recommendations.

"These drug companies created this problem, and what's infuriating is that they're doing precious little to be of assistance", he said.

Opioid overdoses kill tens of thousands of people in the United States each year.

"We have a massive drug problem where kids are becoming addicted to drugs because the drugs are being sold for less money than candy", Trump said.

Sharfstein said he likes some of the plans by other states to encourage doctors to cut back on the prescriptions they are writing for patients for opioids.

Gargiulo said resources are lacking for treatment and recovery, as well as for law enforcement efforts.

Nationwide almost 35,000 people in America died of heroin or opioid overdoses in 2015 according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. "The president's staff believed the actions that we put forward are strong and I think you'll see many if not all of them done by the president".

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