Donald Trump Releases Strategy To Address Opiate Epidemic

By McCarton Ackerman 11/01/16

The GOP nominee released a more detailed plan of what he would do to address the opioid epidemic as president.

Donald Trump Releases Strategy To Address Opiate Epidemic

Donald Trump has published his plans to tackle the nation’s addiction epidemic, which include a wide range of initiatives from increasing drug treatment access to controlling immigration.

Although the heroin epidemic has been a key point mentioned in many of Trump’s campaign speeches, he had not provided a clear strategy of how he would fix it, until now. During a campaign speech last month in New Hampshire, he pointed a finger at opponent Hillary Clinton. “The open border policies of Hillary Clinton, including catch and release, another terrible practice, have allowed a massive influx of drugs into New Hampshire, and frankly, to states all over our country. Almost every state,” said Trump.

Breitbart reported that Trump’s new press release from Oct. 28 cites controlling immigration as the top way he will reduce addiction in the U.S. In addition to building his infamous wall across Mexico’s border and deporting both "illegal immigrant cartels and traffickers," Trump vowed to close “shipping loopholes” which allow China to import fentanyl into the U.S.

The Republican nominee criticized his opponent for planning to continue Obama’s initiative to commute excessively long sentences of non-violent drug offenders.

“President Obama has commuted the sentences of record numbers of high level drug traffickers, many of them kingpins, and violent armed traffickers with extensive criminal histories,” said Trump in his statement. “Hillary Clinton promises to continue this approach, turning our streets back over to gangs, drug cartels, and armed career criminals.”

But perhaps surprisingly, Trump does stand by some of Obama’s initiatives for reform. He supports the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, signed into law by Obama in July. Trump also indicated that he would "expand access to treatment slots and end Medicaid policies that obstruct inpatient treatment," “expand incentives to use drug courts and mandated treatment,” and “distribute widely naloxone/Narcan (opioid antidote to treat OD) to first responders and caregivers.”

Last year, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton unveiled her five-point $10 billion plan to tackle the opioid epidemic in America. Her plan includes a detailed strategy in the areas of drug use prevention, treatment, naloxone, prescribers and the criminal justice system.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.