Opioid crisis: Here's Trump's plan to 'fight this deadly epidemic' and 'win'

Marsha Scott
August 10, 2017

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".

On Tuesday afternoon, President Trump attended a briefing, held at his New Jersey golf club, on the ever-worsening opioid crisis in the USA, which is killing almost 150 people every day. The health news website STAT reports that six states have used disaster or emergency declarations in order to take more aggressive measures to fight opioids.

Thomas Farley, the commissioner of the city's Department of Public Health and the co-chair of Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney's opioid task force, said the president's comments "show he doesn't understand the opioid crisis".

Reading a statement to reporters from a working vacation at his Bedminster National Golf Club, Trump called overdose deaths "a tremendous problem in our country".

The whole scene resembled a sad, amateurish spectacle as Trump advertised the fact he has no idea what's behind the opioid crisis, or how the federal government should combat it.

Mr. Trump highlighted the problem on the campaign trail, saying his proposed border wall with Mexico would blunt the flow of illicit drugs into the U.S.

The rate of overdose deaths hovered around 19 per 100,000 during the first six months of 2016, compared to just over 16 per 100,000 during the same period in 2015.

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Such programs "teach students the social skills they need to refuse drugs and give them opportunities to practice these skills with other students - for example, by asking students to play roles on both sides of a conversation about drugs, while instructors coach them about what to say and do", Scientific American explained.

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

The commission's report also recommended government partnerships to develop non-opioid pain relievers, and called for mandating medical education in opioid prescribing. 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. "So they looked at this surge, and they let it go by".

On Monday, New Jersey Congressman Donald Norcross (D-1) wrote a letter to Trump and said the administration had not done enough to address the opioid epidemic.

"It's a tremendous problem in our country, and I hope we get it taken care of as well as it can be taken care of". He spoke about the need in particular to curb the over-prescription of opioids from doctors. "To date, the Trump administration's response to the opioid crisis is an epic fail".

There were 36,450 fatal overdoses nationwide in 2008 and 47,055 in 2014, but half of the deaths reported unspecified drugs and in one-fifth to one-quarter, it was the only drug-related designation included.

The top recommendation from President Trump's commission on the opioid crisis was for the president to declare the opioid crisis a national public health emergency.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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