Trump's Views On America's Opioid Crisis Are Completely Wrong - Here's Why

As'142 Americans dying every day, Opioid Commission seeks national emergency declaration

President Donald Trump on Tuesday vowed an unrelenting assault on the epidemic of opioid addiction in the United States, a health crisis that authorities say kills more than 100 Americans daily.

Trump said Tuesday that he is not declaring a national emergency over the intensifying opioid crisis as suggested by a commission he himself organized.

The presidential opioid commission, which is chaired by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, recommended Trump "declare a national emergency" and claimed "America is enduring a death toll equal to September 11th every three weeks".

Health Secretary Tom Price told said the administration has the resources it needs to combat the epidemic without invoking the emergency powers.

According to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, released separately, overdose death rates in the third quarter of 2016 reached a record-high of 19.9 deaths per 100,000, and the trend shows a consistent increase over the past almost two years.

A declaration of emergency would allow the Trump presidency to expedite legislation created to ameliorate the addiction crisis, while simultaneously drawing political attention to the problem.

It was not immediately clear what an emergency declaration would have meant for the federal government's response to the opioid crisis.

It is speculated that Trump is likely to address one or more of these recommendations in his address today.

Instead, Trump's prepared remarks focused on enforcement stopping the global influx of illicit drugs and alluded to the Mexican border.

This week, the National Center for Health Statistics published preliminary drug overdose estimates for the first nine months of 2016, finding that fatalities hit a record high. "If they do start, it's awfully tough to get off", Trump said.

"The best way to prevent drug addiction and overdoses is to prevent people from abusing drugs in the first place", he said.

After a campaign full of promises to solve the opioid crisis, denying his own commission's top suggestion is Trump's most obvious middle finger to those who believed he would attack the problem. "We're going to be bring them up and bringing them up rapidly".

A series of studies, however, have found one of the key variables in opioid addiction is a doctor's prescription, with many overdose deaths stemming from prescription opioid medications.

"It's a tremendous problem in our country, and I hope we get it taken care of as well as it can be taken care of".

As the executive branch decides how to address the opioid epidemic, communities hit hardest by the prescription drug crisis are beginning to target the pharmaceutical companies responsible for selling the addictive drugs. Instead, the commission was entirely silent on cannabis as a method of combatting opioid deaths, ignoring roughly 7,800 public comments that referenced the plant.

Trump's wordier version of Nancy Reagan's failed "Just say no" program would target those who haven't fallen victim to opioid addiction.

It released a report on Monday calling for Trump to declare a national emergency, considering 142 Americans die each week.