Last week President Donald Trump unveiled his plan detailing how the administration suggests the $6 billion congressional appropriation to end the opioid epidemic should be spent.
Trump’s remarks largely focused on three key pillars: a strict and relentless approach to law enforcement, a well-funded advertising campaign to deter opioid abuse, and expanding federal funding for addiction treatment. While these were the president’s key themes, Trump set forth a comprehensive strategy recapped in the 10 points below.
- Solving the opioid problem is a top priority for Trump. The president previously declared opioid addiction a public health emergency, recently hosted a White House Opioid Summit and established a commission to tackle the issue.
- Trump promised to “get tough on drug dealers.” The president said, “whether you are a dealer or doctor or trafficker or a manufacturer, if you break the law and illegally peddle these deadly poisons, we will find you, we will arrest you, and we will hold you accountable.” Trump went on to say that while not all Americans are “ready” for severe punishment, he strongly advocates that high-volume traffickers should be subject to the death penalty.
- Trump echoed his campaign promise to “build the wall,” but in this reference to keep the drugs out. Mexico and undocumented immigrants were critiqued as the primary source of illegal opioids in the U.S.
- Trump pledged to hold pharmaceutical companies financially accountable for their role in cultivating the opioid epidemic. The president said, “we must crack down on the over-production and over-prescribing of painkillers.”
- Trump called for a one-third reduction in opioid prescriptions. The president’s plan encourages further research into less-addictive pain medications to mitigate the excessive prescribing of opioids. The administration is similarly calling for a national prescription drug monitoring database in which patients’ prescriptions can be monitored nationwide.
- Trump hailed Narcan as a life-saving medicine. Naloxone, commonly known as Narcan, is an opioid overdose reversal drug that counteracts the effects of respiratory distress that can lead to death during an overdose.
- Trump promised to increase treatment for those suffering from addiction. The plan includes expanded access to medication-assisted treatment, where patients are effectively weaned off opioids under a physician’s supervision.
- Trump’s administration has acknowledged that the opioid crisis will likely get worse before it gets better. White House advisor Kellyanne Conway said fighting the opioid epidemic will require “a lot more money.” She said the administration wants a larger congressional appropriation of $13 billion to help solve the opioid crisis.
- Trump recommended launching an aggressive advertising campaign to educate children about the dangers of opioid misuse. The president said he wants to spend “a lot of money on great commercials showing how bad it is.”
- Trump concluded that “failure is not an option,” and “addiction is not our future. We will liberate our country from this crisis. And we will raise a drug-free generation of children.”
Labeled by the Trump administration as the “crisis next door” because “everyone knows someone,” the opioid epidemic has been deemed a nonpartisan problem seeking a bipartisan solution. The team at New Season is proud to be a part of the solution.