Trump Wants to Arrest His Way Out of the Opioid Overdose Crisis

Fighting the scourge of opioids

While President Donald Trump's briefing on the current opioid epidemic in the USA on Tuesday was dominated by his aggressive threat to respond to North Korea's nuclear development program with "fire and fury", the president's comments on the opioid crisis were also met with concern by drug policy experts-as Trump indicated that he would not follow the recommendations of his own opioid crisis task force. "We're going to be bring them up and bringing them up rapidly".

"At the end of 2016, there were 23 percent fewer [prosecutions] than in 2011", Trump said. So they looked at this scourge and they let it go by, and we're not letting it go by. "The average sentence length for a convicted federal drug offender decreased 20 percent from 2009 to 2016".

"The best way to prevent drug addiction and overdoses is to prevent people from abusing drugs in the first place", he said.

“If they dont start, they wont have a problem.

With a focus on the Reagan-era idea of "just say no to drugs" and threats to meet the crisis with tougher law enforcement measures, critics quickly denounced the president's remarks and the approach they signal. But if they dont start, it will never be a problem.”.

"If this is not a national crisis, I don't what is", Jacobs said.

Trump also did not announce a new policy in the fight against opioids despite his promise of a "major briefing" in a tweet Tuesday morning.

With the opioid crisis intensifying and dozens of Americans dying of drug overdoses each day, President Donald Trump pledged Tuesday to "beat this awful situation" at a briefing held here during his 17-day "working vacation".

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The presidential commission has since urged Trump to declare the opioid crisis a national emergency in its first interim report.

"We believe, at this point, that the resources that we need or the focus that we need to bring to bear to the opioid crisis can be addressed without the declaration of the emergency", Price said Tuesday in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Early in his administration, Trump appointed a commission to suggest ways to combat and treat the opioid epidemic.

"I'm confident that by working with our health care and law enforcement experts, we will fight this deadly epidemic and the United States will win", he added.

Trump said his administration continues to talk to China about the problem, but didn't provided details.

The comment was immediately slammed by Republicans and Democrats alike, including by the Republican governor of New Hampshire who endorsed Trump for president. "The president understands the magnitude of this challenge", Price said. In November's election, Trump overperformed the most in counties with the highest drug, alcohol and suicide mortality rates, according to a Pennsylvania State University study.

Trump has also asserted that his proposal border wall would stop the flow of drugs into the country from Mexico.

Some 33,000 overdoses from opioids were recorded in 2015, including heroin overdoses as well as those related to prescription painkillers and synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, which around 50 times more potent than heroin.

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