Executive Order Takes Aim at Opioid Abuse Epidemic

MARCH 30, 2017
Jennifer Barrett, Assistant Editor

President Donald Trump promises to tackle the nation’s opioid crisis with a recently-signed executive order launching a commission to fight drug addiction.
According to a White House press release, the commission will work closely with the White House Office of American Innovation, led by Jared Kushner, to study ways to combat and treat drug abuse, addiction, and the opioid crisis in the United States.
Before signing the order, Trump listened to testimonies from recovering drug addicts, and then discussed the administration’s plans to address the opioid abuse epidemic.
“We’ll work directly with representatives from state and local governments, law enforcement, medical professionals, and victims,” the President said. Trump promised an enhanced focus on prevention and law enforcement, citing previous executive actions to strengthen law enforcement and dismantle criminal cartels.
The President has also recruited New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to chair the federal commission. In February, Governor Christie signed a legislation limiting opioid prescriptions to a 5-day supply in New Jersey. Another provision of the law mandates state-regulated health insurers to cover the first 4 weeks if inpatient or outpatient substance abuse treatment without the need for authorization.
“The most important thing to me, I think the President and I both agree that addiction is a disease, and it’s a disease that can be treated, and that we need to make sure we let people know,” Governor Christie said at the session.  
“I made a promise to the American people to take action to keep drugs from pouring into our country and to help those who have been badly affected by them,” President Trump stated in a press release, “Governor Christie will be instrumental in researching how best to combat this serious epidemic on how to treat those it has affected.”
President Donald J. Trump Signs an Executive Order Establishing the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis [news release]. Washington. White House’s website. https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/03/30/president-donald-j-trump-signs-executive-order-establishing-presidents.
Remarks by President Trump in Listening Session on Opioids and Drug Abuse [news release]. Washington. White House’s website. https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/03/29/remarks-president-trump-listening-session-opioids-and-drug-abuse.