Trump to discuss plan to combat opioids after Opioid Commission releases report

Opinion Election of Trump Reveals Cultural Divide and Flaws in Our Democratic System

Trump, speaking to reporters before Price's remarks, did offer one potential solution. Channeling the "Just Say No" spirit of Nancy Reagan, Trump suggested that telling kids to stop it already would end the drug epidemic that's now consuming the country.

Price added that the commission report is being reviewed by the administration, but much of what it recommended is already being done without declaring a national emergency. Overdoses kill more people than gun homicides and vehicle crashes combined, the commission reported. Sharfstein says the commission believed it was essential to rapidly expand access to treatment to those who are addicted.

The National Center for Health Statistics said the share of overdose deaths stood at an unprecedented 19.9 per 100,000 people in the third quarter of past year, up from 16.7 in the same quarter of 2015.

Strong law enforcement is absolutely vital to having a drug-free society.

"At the end of 2016, there were 23 percent fewer federal prosecutions than in 2011, so they looked at this scourge and they let it go by", he said. He also the average sentence length for a convicted federal drug offender decreased by 20 percent from 2009 to 2016.

More than 52,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2015 - the most ever - fueled by soaring abuse of heroin and prescription painkillers.

"I don't think though that the American government has any clue as how to go about addressing this in an effective way which is obviously a problem, since there are a lot of over doses", Preston said. The Health Department has said it's in part because a new law requires health-care providers to check a patient's prescription history, to prevent "doctor shopping" for drugs.

So what is Trump saying now?

A recent New York Times report estimated that in 2016 there were between 59,000 and 65,000 deaths due to drug overdoses - more than the peak auto crash deaths in 1972, or peak HI.V. deaths in 1995.

Alaska Chief Medical Officer Jay Butler told me it's hard to say exactly how such a declaration could help his state without specifics from Trump, but predicted it would "open the possibly for a faster stream of resources" from the federal government to the state.

In the middle of all this insanity, however, it may have passed you by that Trump gave a speech on America's opioid epidemic. "Hopefully better than any other country that also has these same problems", Trump said from his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey, where he is on a two-week "working vacation".

"We believe that, at this point, that the resources that we need for the focus that we need to bring to bear to the opioid crisis, at this point, can be addressed without the declaration of an emergency", U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said.

Price said most national emergencies are declared to address a focused, time-limited crisis such as the threat from the Zika virus or damage from Hurricane Sandy.

He heralded Price as the person to lead his effort to tackle the issue, and said that no one is safe from opioid addiction.

Christie's office declined to comment.

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