On Thursday, President Donald Trump declared the opioid crisis a national emergency. More Americans overdosed and died from painkillers in 2016 than U.S. troops killed during the entire Vietnam War, and the President has taken notice. The White House can no longer ignore the opioid crisis as it devours Americans young and old.
The announcement was prompted by recommendations from the opioid commission led by Chris Christie. “Building upon the recommendations in the interim report from the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis,” The White House report stated in a press release, “President Donald J. Trump has instructed his Administration to use all appropriate emergency and other authorities to respond to the crisis caused by the opioid epidemic.”
Last week, The White House commission tackling the opioid crisis issued an interim report pushing President Trump to declare a public emergency. On August 8, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price urged the president to take immediate action.
President Trump initially responded with an outline to attack the uncontrollable opioid crisis. “Federal drug prosecutions have gone down in recent years,” the President said on August 8. “We’re going to be bringing them up and bringing them up rapidly. At the end of 2016, there were 23 percent fewer than in 2011. So [The Obama Administration] looked at this scourge and they let it go by, and we’re not letting it go by.” Fighting the opioid crisis was a selling point of President Trump’s 2016 campaign.
Between the year 2000 and 2015, half a million Americans died of drug overdoses rwith opioids leading the way. Fentanyl, W-18 and U-47700 and many other drugs are much stronger than street heroin, and they are readily available to patients as young as 11. As you’d expect, these drugs are killing people. Without access to deadly painkillers, Heath Ledger, Prince, Elvis and Bruce Lee and many more iconic figures would be alive today.