Ending the worst drug crisis in U.S. history
Six months before Donald J. Trump was elected President, a group of health experts wrote a private letter with “an urgent plea” to senior officials in the Obama Administration.
“Thousands of people were dying from overdoses of fentanyl — the deadliest drug to ever hit U.S. streets — and the [Obama] administration needed to take immediate action. The epidemic had been escalating for three years,” The Washington Post reported last week. “The administration considered the request but did not act on it.”
When President Trump took office 8 months later, the opioid crisis was devastating communities across the country. Nearly 64,000 Americans died from a drug overdose in 2016 alone. Opioid overdoses accounted for more than 42,000 of these deaths—more than any previous year on record.
In October 2017, President Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency. And one year ago today, he introduced the Initiative to Stop Opioid Abuse, a historic effort to cut off the illicit drug supply and drive down demand in the United States.
The results should give all Americans hope:
- During the President’s first year in office, 68 percent fewer Americans over the age of 26 began using heroin than during the previous year.
- In July 2017, the Department of Justice shut down the country’s biggest Darknet distributor of
drugs. That same Fiscal Year, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
took more than 2,300 pounds of fentanyl off the streets.
- The Trump Administration’s public awareness campaign highlighting the dangers of opioid abuse has been seen by 58 percent of young Americans and 1.4 billion viewers in total.
Under this President, the carnage of America’s worst drug crisis will not be ignored.