Foreign Policy: How Not to Handle the Opioid Crisis
Date:  08-25-2017

This year so far over 52,000 people in the U.S. died of opioid overdoses
From: Foreign Policy:

President Donald Trump announced this month that he intends to formally declare a state of emergency regarding America’s opioid crises, which a White House advisory panel told him has reached unprecedented, catastrophic proportions. Many Americans eye Trump’s pronouncements warily, as they usually begin by stating a problem most of us agree is genuine and then swiftly veer into wild territory that seems to pop out of the president’s fertile imagination.

So here, Mr. President, are some basic solutions to the opioid crisis. Your advisory commission gave you many sage recommendations, which you should seriously weigh. Your Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis was especially focused on preventing overdose deaths and helping people get off narcotics. But when you announced your intention to follow the commission’s primary recommendation by declaring an emergency, you added (from your vacation in Bedminster, New Jersey), “The best way to prevent drug addiction and overdose is to prevent people from abusing drugs in the first place.… So we can keep them from going on, and maybe by talking to youth and telling them: ‘No good, really bad for you in every way.’”

If your strategy is to stop addiction in the first place, rather than bring compassionate care and survival to those already using narcotics, you will distress first responders and emergency room professionals across the nation. They processed 142 overdose deaths per day in America in 2015 — a toll expected to soar when newer 2016-2017 statistics are tallied. That year, more than 52,000 Americans died of opioid overdoses, and early data indicates that the toll topped 60,000 in 2016. Continue reading >>>