WASHINGTON — President Trump, who promised during his campaign to help solve the opioid epidemic, today takes a step towards possibly helping to fulfill that promise.
President Trump gets a briefing on the opioid crisis today from Health and Human Services Secretary, Tom Price. The president’s budget asks for $10.7 billion for drug treatment, a $200-million increase. But – it would cut $167-million from abuse prevention.
“We have a 9/11 scale loss of life every three weeks.” A report from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, chair of the President’s opioid commission, says that from 2000 to 2015, more than half a million people died of drug overdoses –opioids account for the majority of those deaths.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently announced the creation of the Opioid Fraud Abuse and Detection Unit that will use data analytics to find doctors who are over-prescribing opioids for profit.
“We are coming after you. We are going to reverse these trends using every lawful tool we have.”
The administration has also said opioids are a top reason it’s focused so much attention on our borders.
“We are working– closely with the Congress on legislation to have better and tighter controls,” said Richard Baum, Acting Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
The President’s opioid commission has asked Mr. Trump to declare a national health emergency. The president has yet to respond.
According to a study from Generations United, it’s estimated that due in part to the opioid catastrophe, at least 2.5 million children nationwide are being raised by a relative other than their parents.
(Hena Doba, CBS News)