President Donald Trump unveiled his plan for fighting the nation’s opioid epidemic today. Parts of the plan have already received plenty of criticism, specifically a proposal for the death penalty to be applied to drug traffickers.
First Lady Melania Trump introduced the President in New Hampshire, a state then candidate Trump described as a “drug infested den,” but it was here that Trump announced his new plan.
The president’s initiative is getting the most attention for its crackdown on drug traffickers.
“If we don’t get tough on the drug dealers we are wasting our time,” said Trump, “and that toughness includes the death penalty.”
Trump also repeated his demand for a wall on the US/Mexican border, saying it will stop the flow of illegal drugs into the U.S.
The White House is also taking aim at the health care industry and looking to stop the over-prescription of powerful and addictive painkillers. The White House’s goal is to reduce opioid prescriptions by a third within three years.
Trump invited Jim and Jeanne Moser to share the story of their sun, who died after battling an addiction that started with a prescription painkiller.
“He got hooked on it and had to go to the street eventually and found fentanyl,” said Jeanne Moser.
Trump’s plan also called for expanding the access to treatment for those already struggling with addiction.
The latest figured from 2016 show that opioids killed more than 42,000 people in the U.S.
To help counter this Trump is also declaring the need for a nationwide public relations effort to convince Americans, particularly children, to not start using drugs.
The White House announced a new website, crisisnextdoor.gov, that warns of the dangers of opioids, including fentanyl. Trump also called for broadcasting “great commercials” during “the right shows” that demonstrate to children “how bad” drugs are.