Opinion: Why Trumps opioid plan falls short

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trump opioid plan

The president will be joined by first lady Melania Trump, who has shown an interest in the issue as it pertains to children. Rare strep A complications were linked to the deaths of two children in Colorado. There are a few sensible policies buried in Trump’s strategy—namely improving access to safer drug treatments. President Trump is fighting to keep dangerous drugs out of the United States by securing land borders, ports of entry, and waterways against smuggling.

In one instance, the company donated $4,600 to the campaign of a Massachusetts’s sheriff. Alkermes’ positioning in the federal prison system for Vivitrol mimics a pattern the company has produced in state penal systems, with Indiana, Massachusetts and California among them. It has aggressively presented its products to states looking to deal with the growing opioid epidemic, and it has made political donations as well.

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“… A drug dealer will kill 2,3, 5,000 people during the course of his or her life. Thousands of people are killed or their lives are destroyed, their families are destroyed. So you can kill thousands of people and go to jail for 30 days.” “Some countries have a very, very tough penalty, the ultimate penalty,” the president added at the time. “And by the way, they have much less of a drug problem than we do. So we’re going to have to be very strong on penalties. Hopefully we can do some litigation against the opioid companies.”

trump opioid plan

The act’s co-sponsors were Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Republican Rob Portman of Ohio. The pair pulled down $43,000 from Alkermes during the 2016 cycle, though Portman received the lion’s share at $38,000. While law enforcement does have an important role to play, we’ve learned that an emphasis on arrest and incarceration doesn’t work. Many law enforcement officials at the national, state, and local levels have come to understand the futility of this approach. During my time at the Office of National Drug Control Policy under President Obama, the most frequent request from law enforcement officials was to increase access to treatment.


Some, like Rep. Frank Pallone of New Jersey, the ranking Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, warned that Republican threats to undo Medicare and Medicaid would only increase the death rate. Wednesday’s bill signing marked a yearslong effort by both the legislative and executive branch to respond to the growing opioid crisis, which killed more than 48,000 Americans in 2017, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Moreover, it will be remembered as a major bipartisan feat at the end of another congressional term that many consider to be the most divisive and bitterly partisan one yet. President Donald Trump signs legislation combating the opioid epidemic at the White House on Wednesday.

trump opioid plan

The president will be joined by first lady Melania Trump, who has shown an interest in the issue, particularly as it pertains to her focus on child welfare. “We’ve seen very large increases in the number of individuals going eco sober house cost to treatment programs,” said Brendan Saloner, a researcher at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Overdoses were surging in battleground states key to the election, like New Hampshire, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Why Trump’s Opioid Plan Will Harm More People Than It Will Save

In 2018, President Trump worked with Congress to pass the SUPPORT Act, the single largest legislative package addressing a single drug crisis in history. To curb over-prescription, the President implemented a Safer Prescribing Plan that will cut opioid prescription fills by one-third within three years. Harris, who has developed a following since taking over for Barbara Boxer, means business. She demanded 11 documents from the company including sales materials, a list of jails where the company allegedly gave away free Vivitrol as well as a tally of the donations the company made to addiction-related nonprofits. Receive full access to our market insights, commentary, newsletters, breaking news alerts, and more. ​The US Centers for Disease Control has updated its guidelines for clinicians in prescribing opioids – the first update since 2016.

We all have a role to play to treat addiction for exactly what it is, a disease and an urgent public health concern. In addition, nearly half of all opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription opioid, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . The White House did not offer any specific examples of when it would be appropriate to seek the death penalty for drug dealers and referred further questions to the Justice Department.

  • And in 2017, America had an increase in the number of patients age 12 and older with illicit drug-use disorders being treated at specialty facilities and private provider offices.
  • It also has spent time and resources communicating with doctors across the country about Vivitrol and has made use of a “speaker’s bureau” as a tool for getting the word out about the drug.
  • Globally, 141 countries have abolished the practice and in 2016, 23 countries killed over 1,000 people with the most deaths occurring in China, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq, according to Amnesty International.
  • Although you might think “enabling” drug use would keep people from quitting, in fact, harm reduction programs often lure people into treatment, not away from it.
  • “You need research dollars for the basic research, and you need significant research for clinical trials.”
  • It should not demonize people who use drugs or suffer from addiction, and it should not sweep up people who need opioid medications to treat their medical conditions with severe restrictions on prescribing that are not individualized.

According to reports ahead of the President’s New Hampshire appearance, Trump is calling for tougher penalties for opioid-related trafficking, but he will call for the death penalty only when it is applicable under current law. But President Donald Trump has long called for the use of the death penalty in the U.S., typically framing it as a “law and order” issue. “Many countries have the problem, we have a problem, but what a great job you are doing and I just wanted to call and tell you that,” Trump said on the call, according to the Intercept. The two leaders have also showcased their friendly relationship in bilateral meetings despite the leader’s alleged human rights abuses. “It’s central,” said Dr. David Rosenbloom, a professor of public health at Boston University.

That being said, the Supreme Court has ruled the death penalty unconstitutional except in cases of murder—and no prior administration has actually used the kingpin statute, the DPIC says. Even at the drug war’s peak, prosecutors recognized the futility of this idea. One Republican congressional source familiar with the process told NBC News that the administration made a priority of directing funds to discover a nonaddictive painkiller and combating overprescription by giving patients smaller doses of opioids in “blister packs.” Alkermes has spent money lobbying and donating to elected officials, and in the White House opioid plan, it seems to have paid off, as opioid blocker Vivitrol becomes part of prison protocol. The charges center on allegations that the former chief executive officer and other officials at Therapeutics provided kickbacks to doctors to prescribe the opioid Subsys.

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The idea of declaring a national emergency on opioids was first publically suggested in late July by a commission the president had empaneled to look at the crisis. However, critics said the “public health emergency” status limits the scope of what the federal government can do. Among other things, the health emergency declaration allows patients to get medically assisted treatment for opioid addiction through telemedicine instead of in-person visits with doctors, according to USA Today. Trump said the federal government would help develop nonaddictive painkillers and consider lawsuits against “bad actors” that fuel the opioid crisis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 42,000 people died from opioid overdoses in 2016, the latest year with publicly available data.

Fighting the Opioid Crisis

The Office of National Drug Control Policy is the executive branch agency that was created in 1986 to handle drug policy. A spokesman for the agency said Carroll had been briefed on the details of the opioid plan. The president has said it may be time to start ‘thinking’ about the death penalty for drug traffickers. He’s now pushing prosecutors to use existing federal law, which allows the death penalty for high-level traffickers, even if they haven’t killed anyone, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

The result is the company has 450 programs in 39 states, according to Alkermes. Vivitrol originally received Food and Drug Administration https://soberhome.net/ approval for treating alcoholism in 2006. After submitting study results in 2010 for treating opioid addiction, the FDA gave it the nod.

The cost of the opioid epidemic, not to mention the cost of all addiction, ranges from $100 billion or more billions a year. I would expect it to cost therefore somewhere between those two numbers to meaningfully eco sober house review address the issue. That is a great idea, but people have been pursuing that for decades, and because of the way the brain works, it seems unlikely that will be a major solution even if some are found.

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