US President Donald Trump has stated the US ‘will overcome addiction in America,’ declaring the opioid crisis a national public health emergency while speaking of losing his brother to alcoholism early in his life.
Trump said: ‘It is time to liberate our communities from this scourge of drug addiction,’ he said. ‘We can be the generation that ends the opioid epidemic.’
Trump’s crisis plan will be effective for 90 days and allows the government to redirect resources in various ways and to expand access to medical services in rural areas.
However, various noted voices within the debate have criticised the plans for not bringing fresh subsidy to the crisis.
‘How can you say it’s an emergency if we’re not going to put a new nickel in it?’ said Dr Joseph Parks, medical director of the non-profit National Council for Behavioural Health.
‘As far as moving the money around,’ Dr Parks added, ‘that’s like robbing Peter to pay Paul.’
Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi also said, ‘Show me the money.’
Trump announced the plans to an audience of parents who have lost children to drug overdoses, people who have struggled with addiction, first responders and lawmakers.
Trump also spoke personally about the death of his elder brother, Fred Jr, who died after struggling with alcoholism (that being the reason the president does not drink).
Trump said his brother was a ‘great guy’ and the ‘best looking guy,’ with a personality ‘much better than mine’.
‘But he had a problem, he had a problem with alcohol. I learned because of Fred.’