More than one quarter of the 52,000 Americans who died from drug overdoses in 2015 did so as a result of heroin consumption. That is a 300% increase in deaths in just 5 years. Statistics like this have allowed both Republicans and Democrats to agree on one thing: that the opioid crisis is bad, and they should do something about it. What exactly should be done, however, is still up for debate, and in the halls of congress, bickering seems to more prevalent than commonsense solutions to America’s addiction crisis.
Despite the current nature of American politics, President Trump says that the government needs to work harder to develop solutions to the opiate addiction crisis. According to Trump, this process begins with starting a commission to look for solutions, but the members won’t be public health and addiction experts. Instead, the group will be staffed by Trump confidants and supporters, including New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
When President Trump says that America’s drug addiction crisis is “untalked about,” it’s difficult to see what he means. Not only have stories about drugs like heroin, fentanyl, and carfentanil been flooding through news outlets, blogs, and social media throughout recent months, but a multitude of reports about the scope about the problem have been recently released, including one from the U.S.Surgeon General. In his report, the Surgeon General reminds readers that only 10% of addicts in America get any kind of treatment, and fewer than half of the 40% of addiction sufferers who have mental health conditions get treatment for their psychological disorders.
Many public health experts think that President Trump’s new commission may be more about creating a PR buzz than actionable results. This idea is reinforced by the fact the Trump-championed American Health Care Act, which recently failed to pass through congress, would have deprived millions of the most vulnerable Americans from mental health and substance abuse insurance coverage. Unless the President is planning to dedicate more federal funding to substance abuse treatment and education, little is likely to change for addiction sufferers and their families, and the crisis may only begin to worsen over time.
With the U.S. State Department claiming that 90 per cent and 94 per cent of the heroin consumed in the United States comes from Mexico, President Trump’s commision may simply be another way to further his political goals. These famously include building a large wall on the southern border of the U.S., which may be easier to do if Trump can convince the public and fellow Republicans that America’s porous borders are significantly contributing to the country’s opiate abuse epidemic.
No matter what they believe about government drug policy, most individuals agree that addiction is a massive problem in the United States. While you may not be able to singlehandedly change the government’s drug policy, you can make a difference in your own life and the lives of others. If you or someone you love is addicted to drugs or alcohol, take a step in the right direction and seek the help of a professional and accredited addiction treatment center.
At Get Treatment, we understand that every individual who suffers with addiction needs a specialized treatment program. Our top-rated drug treatment centers provide patients with individualized treatment plans that combine both evidence-based and holistic therapies. Simply start by visiting GetTreatment.com or giving us a call to see how we can help you and your family heal from the disease of addiction.