President Donald Trump recently hosted another “listening session” at the White House. This time, Trump wanted to tackle the increasing cases of drug and opioid abuse in the country.
“Solving the drug crisis will require cooperation across government and across society, including early intervention to keep America’s youth off this destructive path,” Trump remarked. He was joined by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Attorney General Sessions, Education Secretary DeVos, Veterans Administration Secretary Shulkin, and Homeland Security Secretary Kelly.
Substance abuse rampant in the US.
The president said that drug abuse has become “a crippling problem” within the country. “Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental death in our country,” Trump explained. In 2015, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimated that 21.6 million Americans aged 12 and older dealt with substance abuse. Meanwhile, Trump noted that deaths from opioid overdose have “nearly quadrupled” since 1999.
Trump asks about drug supply and how ‘weakening of borders’ plays a role.
During the session, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Director Chuck Rosenberg talked about his organization’s national takeback program that happens twice a year. Trump had asked if the increase in drugs due to the “weakening of borders.” In response, Rosenberg said that a lot of them comes through Mexico. However, he pointed out that enforcement officials in Mexico play a critical role in hampering drug inflow. “There are a lot of brave men and women down there trying to help us do what we do,” he said.
Meanwhile, Trump was also joined by several drug abuse victims during the session. They openly spoke about their horrid experiences when they got addicted to drugs. At the same time, Trump was joined by Pam Garozzo. Her son, Carlos, had died from a heroin overdose two days before Christmas. To Garozzo, Trump remarked, “Pam, we mourn your terrible loss, and we honor your strength and the fact that you’re here. And he will not have died in vain, okay?”
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