President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrived at Atlanta’s Hyatt Regency Hotel Wednesday afternoon, pledging to continue the effort to end the opioid abuse epidemic at the 2019 Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit.
Melania Trump spoke first, making educating mothers the dangers of opioid addiction while being pregnant her defining role in the White House. After visiting several hospitals and treatment centers around the country, the First Lady has met with doctors, nurses and mothers to help raise awareness to the dangers of addiction and opiates to unborn babies.
Melania then handed the podium to President Trump and he began by stating everyone present at the 2019 Prescription Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit were “united to end the opioid crisis once and for all.” Several acts of progress have been set in place with the help of the summit, the work of many non profit abuse addiction organizations and the president’s administration to put a end to a epidemic that has claimed the lives of over 700,000 people since 2000.
The Trump administration has declared the opioid crisis a nationwide public health emergency, with immediate plans to eradicate the problem. $6 billion dollars has been raised in new funding to combat the opioid crisis with plans to get more in funds this year.
The President has stronger plans to tighten up security at the country’s southern border, which he declared was a national emergency. Over two million pounds has been seized at the port of entry. He is pushing for more border control to end drugs coming into the country and end human trafficking. In the past 2 years customs is up by 45% with the seizing of Methamphetamine, Heroin, and Fentanyl.
President Trump threw in his usual jabs at the Democrats, talking about the importance again of the border wall, which he assured would be finished by next year. The President said the country has ‘weak pathetic immigration laws.’
Democrats on Wednesday accused the president of undermining the fight against the opioid epidemic through his efforts to scrap the Affordable Care Act.
“The bottom line is that Trump is trying to talk out of both sides of his mouth on opioid abuse,” said U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Lithonia, said in a prepared statement.
State Sen. Nan Orrock, D-Atlanta, agreed with Johnson.
“We have an epidemic in this state,” Orrock said. “And what’s the biggest tool that we have for fighting the opioid crisis? It’s Medicaid. Yet we see in Congress and from the White House massive efforts to gut Medicaid and take apart this tool.”
According to Trump, heroin kills 300 Americans a week, and therefore solving the issues of drug abuse is one of the administration’s priorities.Trump touted his stance on drugs when he congratulated two of the officers in Savannah that aided in the seizure of $19 million dollars of cocaine found in Colombian pineapples.
Lastly, President Trump said big trade deal with Chinese President, Xi Jinping, has been negotiated to prevent Fentanyl from coming into the U.S. which is a direct source for the drug in America. Billions of dollars were given to law enforcement agencies for equipment used to seize and capture drugs.
Drug prices have dropped for the 1st time in 54 years, and President Trump has made a tremendous effort to stop drug companies in foreign countries from ‘rigging the system’ by over supplying drugs to the country. The Department of Justice has prosecuted over 3 thousand businesses for illicit distribution of opioids. At this moment, Trump went off script to say, “I know all about the rigging the system because I had the system rigged on me. I think you know what I’m talking about,” he added, to some laughter from the audience.
His final milestone was to shed light on advertisement for the youth to say no to drugs. Counselor to the President, Kellyanne Conway has helped with the progress to continue spreading awareness to stop youth from using drugs. Since his 1st year in office 100,000 fewer teens have started using drugs.
Many important officials, including the non profit organization ‘Voices of Hope’, law enforcement officers, and many heroes who have joined together with the President to support those on the road to recovery and those in need of help and aide with addiction.
“As 1 united nation we will fight to live in a drug free country,” Trump exclaimed.