tv President Trump Remarks on the Opioid Epidemic CSPAN October 26, 2017 11:52pm-12:29am EDT
trump declared the opioid epidemic a national public health emergency. a new york times report the move falls short of its promise to declare a national emergency, which would have quickly allocated federal funding. the directive on its own does not release money to deal with the crisis. the president signed the memorandum in a ceremony in the white house. >> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states and mrs. trump. [applause]
>> thank you. thank you all for being here today. it touches my heart to see the many some of your face of -- familiar faces of the people i have been lucky to get to know over the last few months. thank you for the time and strength it takes for each of you to tell your stories. we are here today because of your courage. the opioid epidemic has affected more than 2 million americans nationwide and sadly, the number continues to rise. we lost more than 175 americans to overdoses every day.
and millions more are struggling with addiction. addiction you know, affects children in many different ways, and i have recently taken a larger interest in what i can do to help fight this epidemic. [applause] >> i have been participating in meetings and listening sessions and i have been visiting with people who have been affected by this disease. want to take a moment now to tell you what i have learned from the men and women on the front lines of this epidemic. don talk to me about his son garret who took medication and suffered from depression and anxiety. he explained that social media played a part in his son's erratic moods and behaviors.
garrett started to buy synthetic opioids online, and self medicated for his depression. he passed away from an overdose eight days before his 31st birthday. don taught me that the stigma of drug addiction has been normalized and talking about is the only way to do that. someone else talk about his friend who became addicted after prescribed opioids for a sports injury. through theied, and loss, he taught me how important it is to educate people, because his friend was not weak minded. like so many of our kids, he was competitive and strong-willed.
one woman in her 10th year of recovery has tommy that with the proper support and -- has taught me that with the proper support and education, a person can move on and live a happy and healthy life. we are so proud of you and continue to pray for you on this journey. where are you? hello. [applause] >> when i had the honor of place,g billy -- lily's i learned that for babies to succeed, there parents must succeed. they are giving infants the best
opportunity because their parents are giving the tools to succeed. i want to thank rebecca and the place.t lily's [applause] i have learned so much from those brave enough to talk about this epidemic, and i know there are many more stories to tell. but what i found to be the common theme with all of these stories is that this can happen to any of us. drug addiction can take your friends, neighbors or family. no state has been spared. and no demographic has been untouched, which is why my husband and his administration has dedicated itself to combating this health crisis by using every resource available. i am so proud to support him
today as he sees this commitment through. i look forward to continue my work on behalf of children across the country, and hope that citizens everywhere will join forces with this administration to help end this health crisis. thank you very much for being here with us today, god bless you all, and god bless the united states of america. [applause] president trump: thank you, melania, for your moving words and your devotion. there's a very deep devotion, i can tell you that, to our nation and its children. thank you also to members of congress, my cabinet, governors, members of congress, state,
local leaders, first responders, and health care professionals gathered here today. we have some truly incredible people in this room, that i can tell you. most importantly, we acknowledge the families present who have lost a cherished loved one. as you all know from personal experience, families, communities, and citizens across our country are currently dealing with the worst drug crisis in american history and even, you really think about it, world history. this is all throughout the world. the fact is, this is a worldwide problem. this crisis of drug use, addiction, and overdose deaths in many years, it's just been so long in the making. addressing it will require all of our effort and it will require us to confront the crisis in all of its very real complexity. last year, we lost at least
64,000 americans to overdose. that's 175 lost american lives per day. that's seven lost lives per hour. in our country. drug overdoses are now the leading cause of unintentional death in the united states by far. more people are dying from drug overdoses today than from gun homicides and motor vehicles combined. think of it. motor vehicle crashes. gun homicides. more people by far from drug overdoses. these overdoses are driven by a massive increase in addiction. to prescription painkillers, heroin, and other opioids. last year, almost one million americans used heroin. and more than 11 million abused prescription opioids. the united states is by far the
largest consumer of these drugs, using more opioid pills per person than any other country, by far, in the world. opioid overdose deaths have quadrupled since 1999 and now account for the majority of fatal drug overdoses. who would have thought? no part of our society, not young or old, rich or poor, urban or rural, has been spared this plague, drug addiction. and this horrible, horrible situation that's taken place with opioids. in west virginia a truly great state, great people, there's a hospital nursery where one in every five babies spends its first days in agony because these precious babies were exposed to opioids or other
drugs in the womb, they endure nausea, pain, anxiety, sleeplessness and trouble eating, just the same as adults undergoing detox. some of these children will likely lose one or both of their parents to drug addiction and overdose. they will join the growing ranks of america's opioid orphans. such beautiful, beautiful babies. beyond the shocking death, though, the terrible measure of the opioid crisis includes the families ripped apart and for many community a generation of lost potential and opportunity. this epidemic is a national health emergency. unlike many of us, we've seen and what we've seen in our lifetimes, nobody has seen anything like what's going on now.
as americans, we cannot allow this to continue. it is time to liberate our communities from this scourge. of drug addiction. never been this way. we can be the generation that ends the opioid epidemic. we can do it. [applause] president trump: that is why, effective today, my administration is officially declaring the opioid crisis a national public health emergency under federal law. and why i am directing all executive agencies to use every appropriate emergency authority
to fight the opioid crisis. this marks a critical step in confronting the extraordinary challenge that we face. as part of this emergency response, we will announce a new policy to overcome a restrictive 1970's era rule that prevents states from providing care at certain treatment facilities with more than 16 beds for those suffering from drug addiction. [applause] president trump: a number of states have reached out to us asking for relief and you should expect to see approvals that will unlock treatment for people in need and those approvals will come very, very fast, not like in the past.
very, very quickly. ending the epidemic will require mobilization of government, local communities and private organizations. it will require the resolve of our entire country. the scale of this crisis of addiction is why, soon after coming into office, i convened a presidential commission headed by governor chris christie that has consulted with experts across america to listen, to learn, and report back on potential solutions. we await the final report which will come in next week and i know some of the report has already been seen because i want to see it as quickly as possible and some of the things that they are recommending are common sense but very, very important and they're going to have a tremendous impact, believe me. tremendous impact.f these aggressive steps with my administration, which we've already taken.
after we review and evaluate the commission's findings, i will quickly move to implement approximate and appropriate recommendations but i want the american people to know the federal government is aggressively fighting the opioid epidemic on all fronts. we're working with doctors and medical professionals to implement best practices for safe opioid prescrmething very,y special, we are requiring federally employed prescribers to receive, finally, special training. the centers for disease control and prevention has launched a prescription awareness campaign to put faces on the danger of opioid abuse. i want to knowledge cvs/caremark
that it will limit certain first-time opioid prescriptions to seven-day supplies among other important reforms and i encourage other companies to do their part to help stop this epidemic. [applause] president trump: the f.d.a. is now requiring drug companies that manufacture prescription opioids to provide more training to prescribers and help prevent abuse and addiction and has requested that one especially high-risk opioid be withdrawn from the market immediately. we are requiring that a specific opioid, which is truly evil, be taken off the market immediately. [applause]
president trump: the u.s. postal service and the department of homeland security are strengthening the inspection of packages coming into our country to hold back the flood of cheap and deadly fentanyl, a synthetic opioid manufactured in china and 50 times stronger than heroin , and in two weeks i will be in china with president xi and i will mention this as a top priority. [applause] president trump: and he will do something about it. i am also pleased to report that for the first time, the department of justice has indicated major chinese drug traffickers, and they have really put very, very strong clamps on them, they've indicted
them, the drug traffickers, for distributing fentanyl into the united states so jeff, thank you very much. good job. [applause] president trump: and they've been indicted and we're not going to forget about them, believe me. they are doing tremendous harm to our country. the justice department is aggressively and really valiantly pursuing those who illegally prescribe and traffic in opioids both in our communities and on the internet , and i will be looking at the potential of the federal government bringing major lawsuits against bad actors, what they have and what they're doing to our people is unheard of. we will be bringing some very major lawsuits against people and against companies that are hurting our people and that will start taking place pretty soon. [applause]
president trump: we're also supporting first responders and medical professionals access to the tools they need to prevent deaths through life-saving overdose medications. at my direction, the national institute of health headed up by francis collins, has taken the first steps of an ambitious public-private partnership with pharmaceutical companies to develop nonaddictive painkillers and new treatments for addiction and overdose. so important. [applause] president trump: i will be pushing the concept of nonaddictive painkillers very, very hard. we have to come up with that solution. we give away billions and billions of dollars a year and we're going to be spending lots
of money on coming up with a nonaddictive solution. we will be asking dr. collins and the n.i.h. for substantial resources in the fight against drug addiction. one of the things our administration will be doing is a massive advertising campaign to get people, especially children, not to want to take drugs in the first place because they will see the devastation and the ruination it causes the people and people's lives. watch what happens if we do our jobs, how the number of drug users and the addicted will start to tumble downward over a period of years. it will be a beautiful thing to see. i learned myself, i had a brother, fred, great guy, best looking guy, best personality, much better than mine. [laughter]
president trump: but he had a problem. he had a problem with alcohol. and he would tell me, don't drink. don't drink. he was substantially older and i listened to him and i respected but he would constantly tell me, don't drink. he would also add, don't smoke. but he would say it over and over and over again. and to this day i've never had a drink. and i have no longing for it. i have no interest in it. to this day i've never had a cigarette. don't worry, those are only two of my good things. i don't want to tell you about the bad things. there's plenty of bad things too. but he really helped me. i had somebody that guided me. he had a very, very, very tough life because of alcohol, believe me, very, very tough, tough life. he was a strong guy but it was a tough, tough thing that he was going through. but i learned because of fred. i learned. and that's what i think is so important. this was an idea that i had, where if we can teach young
people not to take drugs, just not to take them, when i see friends of mine that are having difficulty with not having that drink at dinner, where it's literally almost impossible for them to stop, i say to myself, i can't even understand that, why would that be difficult? but we understand why it is difficult. the fact is, if we can teach young people and people generally not to start, it's really, really easy not to take them. and i think that's going to end up being our most important thing. really tough, really big, really great advertising. so we get to people before they start. so they don't have to go through the problems of what people are going through. [applause] president trump: we are already distributing nearly $1 billion
in grants for addiction prevention and treatment and over $50 million to support law enforcement programs that assist those facing prison and facing addiction. we've also launched an $81 million partnership to research better pain management techniques for our incredible veterans. and soon -- [applause] president trump: and by the way, secretary shulkin is here, you have done an incredible job for our veterans in a very short period of time. and soon, h.h.s. will launch a task force to develop an update best practices for pain management across the federal government. i am urging all americans to help fight this opioid epidemic
and the broader issue of drug addiction by participating in the national prescription drug takeback day this saturday. when you can safely turn in these dangerous and horrible drugs for disposal, that will be a wonderful, wonderful period of time for you. all of these actions are important parts of my administration's larger effort to confront the drug addiction crisis in america and confront it head on. straight on. strong. we're going to do it. we're going to do it. for too long we have allowed drugs to ravage american homes, cities, and towns. we owe it to our children and to our country to do everything in our power to address this national shame and human tragedy. we must stop the flow of all types of illegal drugs into our
communities. [applause] president trump: for too long, dangerous criminal cartels have been allowed to infiltrate and spread throughout our nation. an astonishing 90% of the heroin in america comes from south of the border where we will be building a wall which will greatly help in this problem. [applause] president trump: we'll have a great impact. my administration is dedicated to enforcing our immigration laws, defending our maritime security, and securing our borders. we also have to work with other countries to stop these drugs where they originate. we have no choice. we have to work with others, we have to get together because
they have similar problems to what we have, some countries have bigger problems than we have. whether that country is china, whether it's a country in latin america, it makes no difference. we're going to be working with all of them. we're taking the fight directly to the criminals and places that they're producing this poison. here in america, we are once again enforcing the law, breaking up gangs and distribution networks, and arresting criminals who peddle dangerous drugs tower youth. our use. in addition, we understand the need to confront reality right smack in the face that millions of our fellow citizens are already addicted. that's the reality. we want them to get help they need. we have no choice but to help these people that are hooked and are suffering so they can recover and rebuild their lives with their families.
we're committed to pursuing innovative approaches that have been proven to work like drug courts. our efforts will be based on sound metrics and guided by evidence and guided by results. this includes making addiction treatment available to those in prison and to help them eventually re-enter society as productive and law-abiding citizens. finally, we must adopt the most common sense solution of all, to prevent our citizens from becoming addicted to drugs in the first place. [applause] president trump: we must and are focusing so much of our effort on drug demand reduction. we must confront the culture of
drug abuse head on to reduce demand for dangerous narcotics. every person who buys ill list -- illicit drugs here in america should know they are risking their futures, their families, and even their lives and every american should know that if they purchase illegal drugs, they are helping to finance some of the most violent, cruel, and ruthless organizations anywhere in the world. illegal drug use is not a victimless crime. there is nothing admirable, positive, or socially desirable about it. there is nothing desirable about drugs. they're bad. we want the next generation of young americans to know the blessings of a drug-free life. in this enormous struggle against drug addiction and opioid epidemic, it really is that, it is an epidemic, our
greatest hope is the same as it has always been. through every trial, america has encountered throughout our history, the spirit of our people and the strength of our character, we win. each of us has a responsibility to this effort. we have a total responsibility to ourselves, to our family, to our country. including those who are struggling with this addiction. each of us is responsible to look out for our loved ones, our communities, our children, our neighbors, and our own health. almost every american has witnessed the horrors of addiction, whether it's through their own struggles or through the struggle of a friend a co-worker, a neighbor, or frankly a family member. our current addiction crisis and especially the epidemic of opioid deaths will get worse
before it gets better, but get better it will. it will take many years and even decades to address this scourge in our society. but we must start in earnest now to combat national health emergency. we are inspired by the stories of everyday heroes who pull their communities through the depths of despair through leadership and through love. fire chief dan noonan of new hampshire, great state, runs the program safe station which allows drug dependent residents to seek help at fire stations at any time. jesse and cindy swafford of ohio have provided a love, stable -- loving, stable home to children affected by the opioid crisis. i am calling on every american to join the ranks of guardian angels like chief noonan and the swaffords who help lift up the
people of our great nation. together, we will care for our citizens, our children, and our orphans and you know what i'm going to say, our foster youth. so many, many, but we're to lift them up and take care of them. we will work to strengthen vulnerable families and communities. and we will help to build and grow a stronger, healthier, and drug-free society. together, we will face this challenge as a national family. with conviction, with unity, and with a commitment to love and support our neighbors in times of dire need. working together, we will defeat this opioid epidemic. it will be defeated. we will free our nation from the terrible affliction of drug abuse, and yes, we will overcome
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