President Trump Fails to Hit the Mark with Opioid Problem Plan, Health Authorities Say

With the White House’s plan to deal with opioid problem, the authorities have countered the Trump administration’s justice and health policies, according to advocates and politicians.

On Wednesday, the Trump administration declared its launch for a commission that aims to study and deal with the crisis. According to statistics, about 91 people in the United States die every day due to opioid overdose. This report was brought out by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention or CDC.

Donald Trump said that opioid addiction or abuse has truly become a very crippling issue in all parts of the United States of America. He added that this crisis is less talked about compared to the extremeness and severity people are witnessing nowadays.

These “almost untalked about” problems such as addiction to prescription drugs like opioid and heroin has been in the forefront of the federal health agency concerns for years now. In line with this reality, the Congress has also taken the liberty to commit itself in giving response to the said crisis while adopting certain types of federal policies that reflect legislation states all throughout the political arena. Unfortunately, the centerpiece plan of Donald Trump to convene a commission that promotes and develops recommendations is perceived by many people in the country as somewhat redundant.

It was in November 2016 when the surgeon general published and presented a nonpartisan report that outlines solutions as well as recommendations.

According to Daniel Raymond, the policy director of a drug policy advocacy group called Harm Reduction Coalition, he is not aware of the fact that there are many parties who are now enthusiastic about the creation and introduction of commission report. This is because the commission report itself does not seem to presuppose that Harm Reduction Coalition does not actually know what needs to be realized.

As a matter of fact, Raymond said that existing justice and health policies of the White House contradict or negate the pre-existing policy recommendations. On account to this, the advocates said that progress is practically threatened by the White House specifically its efforts to revoke or annul the Act on Affordable Healthcare which is otherwise known as Obamacare. Progress is also threatened by the stance of the justice department toward drug policy.

Raymond also stressed out that he is not aware of how a person is capable of turning a circle into a square by just merely saying, “we care much about drug addiction like opioid crisis” then gets in the way to cut budgets, terminates access to healthcare and beefs up strategies of the law enforcement instead of providing support and services.

There’s one big question which was also raised by Raymond in consonance to the commission report and this questions is stressed thus: Will the commission report be disconnected from the other policies of Trump administration? Another relevant question that was being raised is: Is the commission report going to help align and put agencies in order especially in the making of appropriate response to the crisis in question?

The White House has budget proposals for 2016 and 2017 and the fund has been cut and distributed to several key agencies that aim to fight off and combat opioid crisis. These agencies include the National Institutes of Health for its ongoing researches on solutions for opioid crisis, Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration or SAMSHA for its aim to award grants to help communities deal with the crisis and the CDC which is the agency that has the responsibility of tracking data on opioid use and addiction.

Jeff Sessions, an attorney general and the country’s chief law enforcement offices has also gotten himself in the way to advocate for drug policies that also echoes the war on drugs campaign albeit the fact that this campaign or strategy was discredited by science and was tagged as something which is counterproductive by the administration of former US president Barrack Obama.

Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a democrat from the state of New Hampshire said that a massive gulf or gap has been created between President Trump and the policies which have been proposed by the administration during the first two months of office of the president.

Another US senator by the name of Patty Murray, also a democrat from the state of Washington DC said that he is willing to take the proposed efforts of the president on opioid more seriously if Trump had not spent his last two months derailing the historic procedures on substance abuse treatment via the Affordable Care Act. He would also take the proposed efforts in a kore serious manner if the president didn’t cut the budget by 20 percent which is deemed to be very essential in the fight against the opioid epidemic in the United States.

While these concerns seemed to be very prevalent, US advocates said that they were at least somewhat encouraged that the White House administration pushed to signal opioid crisis as one of the major concerns. If it wasn’t then the administration may not have gotten in the way to contact trusted officials to create a commission report on opioid crisis in the United States of America.

On the lighter side, Chris Christie was appointed and he was warmly welcomed because this governor from New Jersey has long been in the frontlines and fighting off drug addiction crisis. His appointment was timely while the White House is currently teeming with people who don’t have any experience in public governance.