Trump Signs Sweeping Opioid Package Touted By Lawmakers But Criticized By Advocates For Not Going Far Enough
The massive package to try to address the national opioid epidemic was a rare bipartisan accomplishment by Congress this year. But many advocates, while saying it's a good first step, also predict that it's not nearly enough to make a significant dent in the crisis.
The Associated Press:
Trump Signs Bipartisan Measure To Confront Opioid Crisis
President Donald Trump pledged on Wednesday to put an "extremely big dent" in the scourge of drug addiction in America as he signed legislation intended to help tackle the opioid crisis, the deadliest epidemic of overdoses in the country's history. Nearly 48,000 people died last year from overdoses involving opioids. Overall, U.S. drug overdose deaths have started to level off, but Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar says it's too soon to declare victory. (10/24)
Signing Opioid Law, Trump Pledges To End 'Scourge' Of Drug Addiction
"Together we are going to end the scourge of drug addiction in America," Trump said at a White House event celebrating the signing. "We are going to end it or we are going to at least make an extremely big dent in this terrible, terrible problem." (Rascoe and Horsley, 10/24)
The Washington Post:
Trump Signs Sweeping Opioid Bill. Expect To Hear About It On The Campaign Trail.
The bill addresses numerous aspects of the opioid crisis, including prevention, treatment and recovery. It knits together bills sponsored by hundreds of lawmakers, many of whom are embroiled in tough reelection battles and can now tout their support of the law in the run-up to Election Day. “Together we will defeat this epidemic — it’s a true epidemic — as one people, one family and one magnificent nation under God,” Trump said. Drug overdoses killed about 72,000 people last year, and opioids have become a major campaign issue for both Democrats and Republicans. (Zezima and Kim, 10/24)
Trump Signs Sweeping Bill Aimed At Tackling Opioid Crisis
A hallmark provision of the bill aims to stop the flow of deadly synthetic opioids into the U.S. from other countries by requiring the U.S. Postal Service to obtain electronic data on international mail shipments that can be used to target suspicious packages for inspection. (Hellmann, 10/24)
Trump Basks In Recognition For Washington’s Response To The Opioid Crisis
The bill “is an important step forward,” Dr. Kelly Clark, the president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, said in a statement. “[But] there is much work ahead to ensure that all Americans living with addiction have access to treatment that is standardized and evidence-based, as well as comprehensive insurance coverage.” The legislation extended the ability of nurses to prescribe addiction-treatment medications, made it easier for Medicare beneficiaries to access the addiction treatment drug methadone, and allowed more flexibility for doctors wishing to prescribe those treatments via telemedicine. (Facher, 10/24)