Published: Tue, August 08, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

President Trump to be briefed on opioid crisis

President Trump to be briefed on opioid crisis

Officials from New Hampshire criticized Trump last week after a leaked transcript of a January conversation with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto showed that Trump had called the New England state, hard-hit by the opioid epidemic, a "drug-infested den".

Before addressing the public on Tuesday, Trump will meet with Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, who is expected to brief him on the subject.

Trump tweeted an announcement of the speech just after he retweeted a Fox & Friends report on the crisis.

A White House official said Tuesday that the briefing with Price and Baum will provide the President with "an update on the opioid crisis" as the White House works to complete its review of an interim report his Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. "Growth in corrected opioid mortality rates, from 2008 to 2014, were virtually the same as reported increases (2.5 deaths per 100,000 people) whereas changes in corrected heroin death rates exceeded reported increases (2.7 vs 2.3 per 100,000)".

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The commission cited government data showing that since 1999 USA opioid overdoses have quadrupled, adding that almost two thirds of US drug overdoses were linked to opioids such as heroin and the powerful painkillers Percocet, OxyContin and fentanyl. In the statement, Trump links the opioid problem to immigrants bringing drugs in the country, something he has been adamant about fighting since his campaign, i.e.

Preserving funds to confront the opioid epidemic emerged as a sticking point in congressional efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act this year. According to the report, 142 Americans die every day from a drug overdose.

Christie said in an interview with CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday that he has received a "really good response from the White House" on the recommendations.

Melania Trump's spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham told the Washington Examiner that "Opioid abuse is an escalating health crisis affecting countless families across the country".

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