Trump mobilising administration to confront opioids crisis: White House

ANI | Updated: Oct 28, 2017 11:21 IST

Washington D.C. [United States], October 28 (ANI): White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has said that US President Donald Trump is mobilising the entire administration to confront opioids crisis.

Addressing at a press briefing on Friday, Sanders said, "By directing the declaration of a nationwide public health emergency to address the opioids crisis, the President is mobilising his entire administration to confront this issue."

"The President's stirring remarks yesterday, which included a powerful story of how addiction impacted his family, set the stage for the country to unite behind this fight to save lives," she added.

President Trump has directed the Department of Health and Human Services to declare the opioids drug addiction in the country a public health emergency.

The US President made the announcement at a ceremony in the White House East Room, attended by families affected by opioid abuse, members of Congress and administration officials.

The Press Secretary mentioned that in the wake of Trump's announcement, several Cabinet members and agency heads are traveling around the country to events related to the opioids crisis.

"Among those participating in events are Attorney General Sessions, Secretaries Shulkin and Carson, Acting Secretary Hargan, Surgeon General Adams, and Acting ICE Director Homan. These events illustrate that the President truly has made this issue an administration-wide priority," she confirmed.

The US President's directive intends to grant funds towards efforts to combat opioid abuse and would ease certain laws and regulations to address it.

In 2016, the drug abuse was reported to have claimed more than 59,000 lives.

Trump stressed on ending the long continuing addiction and said: "It is time to liberate our communities from this scourge of drug addiction."

He said the plan is to set aside the rule barring Medicaid -a social health care programme- from funding many drug rehabilitation facilities, requiring federally employed prescribers to be trained in safe practices for opioid prescriptions, and a new federal initiative to develop non-addictive painkillers.

Further elaborating, he said the administration would produce "really tough, really big, really great advertising" in efforts to convince citizens to not use opioids.

"This was an idea that I had, where if we can teach young people not to take drugs, it's really, really easy not to take them," Trump said, adding that an advice from his brother to never take a drink has worked for him.

"We are going to overcome addiction in America," President Trump averred.

In August, Trump called the opioid crisis a "national emergency," but did not sign a formal declaration designating it as such.

Trump announced the tackling of opioid abuse as one of his key steps, when he assumed office. However, he has received criticism from certain sections for allegedly taking only limited actions to address the crisis. (ANI)