More than 300,000 Americans have died from overdoses involving opioids since 2000. President Donald J. Trump has mobilized his entire Administration to address opioid abuse by directing the declaration of a nationwide Public Health Emergency.
Drug addiction and opioid abuse are ravaging America. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have lost their lives to drug abuse.
President Trump is fighting back. In its first year, the Trump Administration has moved quickly to answer this growing threat.
On October 26, 2017, President Trump announced that his Administration was declaring the opioid crisis a national Public Health Emergency under federal law, effective immediately. “I am directing all executive agencies to use every appropriate emergency authority to fight the opioid crisis,” the President said.
On March 19, 2018, President Trump unveiled a new website, CrisisNextDoor.gov, where Americans can share their own stories about the dangers of opioid addiction. “This epidemic can affect anyone, and that’s why we want to educate everyone,” the President said at Manchester Community College in New Hampshire.
Learn more about opioid abuse and what the Trump Administration is doing to confront this threat:
“We will work to strengthen vulnerable families and communities, and we will help to build and grow a stronger, healthier, and drug-free society,” President Trump says.
For President Trump, addiction is more than just a policy issue. As a young man, he witnessed the pain of addiction in his family. Now as President, he is fighting back. “I learned because of Fred. I learned. And that’s what I think is so important,” President Trump said.
“Defeating this epidemic will require the commitment of every state, local, and Federal agency. Failure is not an option. Addiction is not our future,” the President told New Hampshire. “And we pledge to honor the memory of those you lost with action and determination and resolve.”
In November, the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) released a report on the economic costs of the opioid crisis. CEA finds that previous estimates of the economic cost of the opioid crisis greatly understate it by undervaluing the most important component of the loss: fatalities resulting from overdoses.
“It shall be the policy of the United States to use all lawful means to combat the drug demand and opioid crisis currently afflicting our country,” the President directed leaders across his Administration. “Heads of executive departments and agencies . . . shall exercise all appropriate emergency authorities.”
“When I had the honor of visiting Lily’s Place in West Virginia, a recovery center for infants born addicted to drugs,” First Lady Melania Trump said, “I learned that to help babies succeed, we must help their parents succeed.”
“In 2016, nearly 20,000 Americans died as a result of using synthetic opioids such as fentanyl,” President Trump said before signing the INTERDICT Act. “This law directs the Department of Homeland Security to provide additional tools and resources to detect and intercept the supply of illicit fentanyl.”
For President Trump, this crisis is personal. “I had a brother, Fred — great guy, best-looking guy, best personality,” the President shared during remarks on combatting the opioid crisis. “But he had a problem. He had a problem with alcohol . . . He really helped me. I had somebody that guided me, and he had a very, very, very tough life because of alcohol.”