Rutherford Comments on Opioid Addiction Prevention

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 14, 2017

Advocates say that the opioid commission's recommendations reflect a dire need to treat the opioid overdose crisis as a health issue and not a criminal issue.

The President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis was established in March and just last week issueda preliminary report and urged the president to declare a national emergency, according to the Washington Post.

Christie cited a number of statistics on the radio show that urged the severity of the issue, including that 142 people die daily in the US from a drug overdose.

Mr Trump received a briefing on the drugs report earlier this week during his 17-day working vacation in New Jersey. The Trump Administration and Congress should prioritize scaling up access to the overdose-reversal drug naloxone and medication-assisted treatment, like methadone and buprenorphine, and resist efforts to expand the use of mandatory minimum sentences and criminalization. "People that are drug users have an addiction problem, a substance abuse disorder, and I really want to get them into treatment". There's never been anything like whats happened to this country over the last four or five years.

Coons says Congress has appropriated funding to battle the opioid crisis in legislation passed past year. But also, there's a commission, the President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis.

"It is a national emergency and the president has confirmed that through his words and actions today, and he deserves great credit for doing so", Christie said in a statement released by his spokesman.

"We are going to draw it up, and we are going to make it a national emergency".

After a meeting on the opioid issue, Trump presented the crisis as a law enforcement issue, but health experts say diversion programs are more likely to help a person who misuses opioids, and concerns about law enforcement involvement can keep people from seeking care in an emergency. Under laws that outline national emergencies, the government can open up additional funding to states and provide technical assistance and manpower to places where local and state resources have been overwhelmed.

Usually national emergencies are declared for short-term crises such as the Zika virus outbreak or a natural disaster.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions commended Trump for "taking this drastic and necessary measure to confront an opioid crisis that is devastating communities around the country and ripping families apart".

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