White House counselor Kellyanne Conway will spearhead the Trump administration’s efforts to fight the opioid epidemic, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on Nov. 29, 2017. Speaking at a press conference, Sessions lavished praise on Conway and deemed her perfect for the job. “She is exceedingly talented, she understands messaging. We’ve got to change the perception in this country,” he said.
Conway was the campaign manager for President Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election and has worked with the Trump administration since January 2017. She has a vast experience working as an advisor for many Republicans, including Mike Pence and Newt Gingrich. However, she has no prior experience in the area of law enforcement or drug policy.
More strategies announced
Sessions also revealed a string of other strategies aimed at dredging the rut created by the opioid mess in the country. As part of the newly declared strategies, the most important announcement was the allocation of additional funds to authorities tasked with combating the opioid epidemic. State and local police departments will get a boost of $12 million in grant money, which will help them take on the opioid onslaught head on. The paucity of funds is the main issue with agencies fighting against the opioid pandemic. So, a stimulus of this sort would certainly help the cause.
Another major development would be the opening of a new field office for the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in Louisville, Kentucky on Jan. 1, 2018. It is going to oversee any progress made against the opioid crisis in the Appalachian region. The office will house 130 task force officers and 90 special agents — covering a region that includes Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia. With this, the DEA would have a complete say over the drug trafficking activities that occur in the Appalachian Mountains.
Sessions also instructed every U.S. attorney’s office to appoint an opioid coordinator by December 15, 2017. The role of opioid coordinators would be to assess all cases that involve heroin, fentanyl or prescription opioids. They will decide on the cases that qualify for facing prosecution in federal courts. The coordinators will be liable for ensuring the response to the opioid crisis corresponds with the needs of the specific community served by their respective departments.
Opioid crisis turning catastrophe
The opioid crisis has refused to die down in the United States, with overdose deaths perpetually on the rise. Thousands of Americans have lost their lives to opioid overdoses and many others are staring at a similar predicament. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that more than 33,000 people died in 2015 due to opioid overdoses that included prescription opioids, heroin and fentanyl. Close to half of opioid overdose deaths were caused by a prescription opioid. Looking at this massive onslaught of opioids in the country, the epidemic appears no less than a catastrophe.
Whether it is an addiction to opioids or any other substance, the only way out is proper medical intervention. If you have a loved one grappling with drug addiction, seek immediate help from any credible rehabilitation center. Sovereign Health is a leading substance abuse treatment provider in the U.S. with a bevy of evidence-based treatment programs.
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