The President’s Weekly Address is now available to watch on WhiteHouse.gov.
Hello, it’s great to be with you.
I want to talk about opioid addiction which claimed an average of 116 American lives every single day in 2016. My Administration is committed to using every tool at our disposal to combat the opioid epidemic – that includes getting tough on the drug dealers and pushers peddling this poison in our communities. We have to get really, really tough, really nasty – whatever it takes because we have to keep them out of our country, out of our communities.
It also involves all of us preventing misuse from starting at home.
Tomorrow is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day – a day where we are calling on all Americans to prevent pill abuse and theft by cleaning their homes of potentially dangerous expired and unneeded prescription drugs – very, very important. Opioid abuse and addiction can impact anyone, and everyone knows someone who has been impacted. That’s why we call it the “Crisis Next Door.”
Most Americans who abuse prescription drugs get them from someone else’s leftover prescriptions. In fact, misusing prescription opioids can be a gateway to deadly heroin addiction or the unsuspecting use of fentanyl-laced drugs. That is why National Take Back Day is so vitally important.
On last October’s National Take Back Day, Americans turned in more than 900 thousand pounds of unneeded or expired drugs. This year, with your help, we can do even better. Use this Saturday to clean out your medicine cabinet to get rid of your unneeded or expired pills so that your home does not contribute to an overdose, or create or fuel an abuse or addiction problem.
Protect your friends, protect your family, protect your loved ones. Find a participating safe-disposal site near you by visiting “TakeBackDay.dea.gov” and together we will fight this crisis.
Last week, I had the honor of visiting the dedicated service members at Joint Interagency Task Force South, headquartered in Key West, Florida. Working with partners across this hemisphere, the Task Force is the international nerve center for drug interdiction efforts. They do truly amazing life-saving work every single day.
We must make sure that our Coast Guard members serving on the front lines are given the resources they need to defend America and our vital interests in our own hemisphere. As they work to prevent drugs from entering our country, we must do our part by making sure that left over or expired pills are not adding to the death and destruction among our fellow Americans. We have to take care of our Americans, we have to take care of our families.
Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.