Nikki Sixx Slams Trump Over Mishandling of the US Opioid Crisis

By Bryan Le 10/02/17

"Addiction cannot be solved behind closed doors...Secrecy and silence do not lead to solutions."

Musician Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue.
Sixx made himself heard.

Musician Nikki Sixx condemned the Trump administration’s drug policies in an op-ed, criticizing the slashing of the 2018 Medicaid budget in particular.

"Opioid abuse isn’t just making addicts sick, it’s making America sick," the Mötley Crüe bassist wrote in the Los Angeles Times. "Now President Trump wants to slash the 2018 Medicaid budget. He’s suggesting deep cuts in funding for treatment, prevention and addiction research. And Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants to fill federal prisons with drug addicts instead of getting them help.”

Sixx also accused Trump of making empty promises to score political points.

"Trump makes a show of concern," he wrote. "He convened a commission in March charged with studying the problem, and he has promised to declare opioid addiction a national emergency, which would free up resources for the battle. But he has failed to file the proper paperwork."

He also denounced the president’s finger-pointing, blaming foreign cartels from China and Mexico for the drug epidemic instead of examining causes within U.S. borders, such as American pharmaceutical companies and over-prescribing doctors. 

Despite Trump’s finger-pointing, Sixx believes the president does actually know how to solve the problem and that the duty rests on his shoulders.

"Congress and the administration must approve a 2018 budget that provides sufficient funding for Medicaid," wrote Sixx. "Of the 2 million Americans in treatment for opioid addiction, approximately 30% receive Medicaid. We must not make it harder for the most vulnerable addicts to obtain treatment."

The rock star said that the government cannot declare drug addiction as a “preexisting condition” and must hold drug companies liable for the results of their aggressive marketing practices. Naloxone, an emergency drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, should be made publicly and widely available, he said.

"Addiction cannot be solved behind closed doors," Sixx wrote. "It’s a sickness, a systemic failure and a societal problem. Individuals are responsible for their own recovery, but too often, we struggle and suffer—as we sin—in secrecy and silence. Secrecy and silence do not lead to solutions."

Sixx himself has had his own struggles with drug use disorders over the years, winding up clinically dead in 1987 from a heroin overdose—but now he advocates for addiction treatment and shares his story in his book, The Heroin Diaries.

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Bryan Le grew up in the 90's, so the Internet is practically his third parent. This combined with a love for journalism led him to The Fix. When he isn't fulfilling his duties as Editorial Coordinator, he's obsessing over fancy keyboards he can't justify buying. Find Bryan on LinkedIn or Twitter