As Opioid Crisis Rages, Trump Says 'We Will Win'

As Opioid Crisis Rages, Trump Says 'We Will Win'

As Opioid Crisis Rages, Trump Says 'We Will Win'

"We're not letting it go by", said Trump to reporters from his private club in Bedminster, New Jersey, where he was receiving a briefing from Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price.

"We believe that, at this point, the resources that we need for the focus that we need to bring to bear to the opioid crisis, at this point can be addressed without the declaration of an emergency", Trump said.

The US health secretary, Tom Price, who has in the past questioned the value of science-based opioid treatment, said the federal government is "working together on a comprehensive strategy", which would be presented to the president in the "near future". Since 1999, the number of opioid overdoses has quadrupled, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and as of 2015, 27 million people were reported now using prescription or illegal drugs. Chris Christie, the panel urged him to "declare a national emergency under either the Public Health Service Act or the Stafford Act". Channeling the "Just Say No" spirit of Nancy Reagan, Trump suggested that telling kids to stop it already would end the drug epidemic that's now consuming the country. The Trump administration has no plan to fight the epidemic, and on Tuesday they didn't even pretend to have one.

The president noted that prosecution of drug crimes had fallen in recent years and promised to work with law enforcement to stop drug dealers and secure the southern border. A Washington Post analysis found that overdose death rates for people between the ages of 25 and 44 have risen for nearly every racial and ethnic group across almost all U.S. states.

The meeting, held at the president's private golf course in Bedminster, NJ, came in the wake of a report issued that morning from the National Center for Health Statistics showing that United States drug overdose deaths continue to skyrocket.

Last week, after a transcript of a January conversation with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto was leaked, we learned that Trump had called New Hampshire, hard-hit by the opioid epidemic, a "drug-infested den".

Christie spoke with members of the commission about its interim findings last Monday and said he hoped Trump would declare the opioid epidemic "a public health emergency". The reality, experts say, is a solution to the problem could be in how doctors prescribe addictive drugs like hydrocodone, OxyContin and Percocet.

"First, [an emergency declaration] lets states and localities that are designated disaster zones to access money in the federal Disaster Relief Fund, just like they could if they had a tornado or hurricane", said Humphreys.

Trump's wordier version of Nancy Reagan's failed "Just say no" program would target those who haven't fallen victim to opioid addiction.

The federal government's report found that overdose fatalities climbed to a record 19.9 per 100,000 people in the third quarter of 2016. He added, "I'm confident that the President will accept the recommendations of this commission".

"You hear the word "healing" thrown around or discussed, and I don't know if it is more healing as it is acceptance", Nowak said.

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