Trump turning to experts to combat nation’s drug epidemic

Federal health officials are giving President Trump an update on the nation’s opioid epidemic

First lady Melania Trump listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a briefing on the opioid crisis, Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017, at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J.
First lady Melania Trump listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a briefing on the opioid crisis, Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017, at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) – President Donald Trump is turning to the Health and Human Services secretary for advice on how to help Americans addicted to opioids.

“I’m confident that by working with our healthcare and law enforcement experts, we’ll fight this deadly epidemic and the United States will win,” Trump said.

The president isn’t alone.

In Ohio, Attorney General Mike DeWine is suing the pharmaceutical industry. He said the companies producing opioids never gave doctors and patients the full story about the risk of addiction.

“These drug companies created this problem, and what’s infuriating is that they’re doing precious little to be of assistance,” he said. “They made the mess; they should clean it up.”

But, court cases can stretch on for years.

That’s one reason why many in Congress are pushing for more federal funding now to help with long-term treatment.

Last week, Ohio Senator Rob Portman said there’s no one solution.

“It’s a complicated issue because it involves treatment, recovery programs, law enforcement techniques; that’s what we’ve talked about, and I’m encouraged,” he said.

This summer, a presidential commission released its ideas on how to fight the crisis. Among them was the suggestion to boost the number of people eligible for addiction treatment through Medicaid.

A final decision on which solutions the White House will choose isn’t expected for several more weeks.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 142 Americans die every day from drug overdoses.

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