Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 24, 2019
PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP IS FIGHTING TO END THE OPIOID CRISIS THAT HAS DEVASTATED TOO MANY AMERICAN COMMUNITIES
“We will defeat this crisis, we will protect our beautiful children, and we will ensure that tomorrow is better, brighter, stronger, and greater than ever before.” – President Donald J. Trump
FIGHTING THE OPIOID CRISIS: President Donald J. Trump’s effort to combat the opioid crisis is making progress and he remains committed to ensuring we end this crisis next door.
• Last year, President Trump launched his Initiative to Stop Opioid Abuse and Reduce Drug Supply and Demand, a first-of-its-kind effort to draw out the factors fueling the opioid crisis and to make real change.
• The Trump Administration has unveiled numerous programs across the Government since the President launched his initiative.
◦ These programs range from health initiatives led by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to increased law enforcement through the Department of Justice (DOJ).
• Last year, the President signed into law the overwhelmingly bipartisan SUPPORT Act.
• President Trump has secured $6 billion in new funding over two years to fight opioid abuse.
• The Administration is working with State, tribal, and local partners to address the opioid crisis in our communities, including awarding $1.5 billion annually in State Opioid Response grants.
◦ The Administration provided teams of experts to assist States and providers with training and education on how best to address the crisis in their area.
• HHS grant funding to combat this crisis went up 4-fold from FY 2016 to FY 2018, and will increase again this fiscal year.
• DOJ has awarded more than $400 million over 2017 and 2018 to support treatment, prevention, and domestic law enforcement efforts.
• The Trump Administration awarded the highest number of Drug-Free Communities Support Program grants in a single year in the program’s two-decade history.
◦ These grants provided more than $90 million to community coalitions to help prevent substance use among youth.
• President Trump’s efforts are producing results and he is committed to continuing the fight until we end this crisis.
• The rising overdose death toll through September 2018, the latest month for which data is available, has flattened compared to November 2017, when we saw the peak 12-month mortality.
• Nationwide, there has been an estimated 5 percent decrease in reported deaths since the same 12-month period a year ago.
• Drug overdose deaths were down in the most recent 12-month reporting period compared to a year ago by an estimated 13 percent in New Hampshire, 20 percent in West Virginia, 11 percent in Iowa, 21 percent in Pennsylvania, and 22 percent in Ohio.
STOPPING DEADLY DRUG SUPPLIES: A vital part of President Trump’s efforts to stop opioid abuse is stopping the illicit drug supplies that are flooding into our communities.
• The Trump Administration is working to cut off the deadly drug supplies that have helped fuel this devastating crisis.
◦ More than 16,000 kilograms of heroin and nearly 5,000 kilograms of fentanyl have been seized in the United States since the beginning of 2017, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
• The Administration has stepped up funding and enhanced efforts to stop deadly drug supplies from flowing into our communities.
• President Trump is following through on his commitment to crack down on the suppliers of deadly, illicit drugs like fentanyl—both in the United States and abroad.
◦ President Trump secured a commitment from President Xi that China would take measures to prevent trafficking of Chinese fentanyl.
◦ Last fall, President Trump called on other nations to join our efforts to stop the flood of illicit drugs into our communities, and more than 130 countries have joined us already.
• President Trump’s efforts to secure our border are helping to stop deadly drugs from being brought into our country.
◦ The Department of Homeland Security seized almost 5,000 pounds of fentanyl in FY 2018—totaling 1.2 billion lethal doses, or enough to kill every American four times.
◦ Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seizures of fentanyl alone are up 265 percent over the last two full fiscal years.
• In 2018, President Trump established the first new High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program in 17 years to combat emerging threats in Alaska.
◦ As a result, the program now has a footprint in all 50 States.
• The Administration has cracked down on the distribution of deadly drugs over the internet, including shutting down the country’s biggest Darknet distributor of drugs.
◦ During that operation, DOJ seized enough fentanyl to kill 105,000 Americans.
• DOJ has worked to bring drug dealers to justice by increasing indictments and has targeted seizures in areas hit hardest by the opioid crisis.
◦ The President has also made clear that he supports strengthening criminal penalties for drug dealers knowingly distributing lethal amounts of opioids.
• Under President Trump, the DEA’s National Take Back Days have shattered records, recovering nearly 3.7 million pounds of unused prescription drugs.
• Thanks to the President’s efforts, more shipments of illicit drugs are being stopped through the mail before they can reach our communities.
◦ CBP has stopped over six times more packages containing fentanyl thanks to the STOP Act included in last year’s opioid legislation.
◦ Postal inspectors saw a 1,000 percent increase in international seizures and a 750 percent increase in domestic seizures related to synthetic opioids from FY 2016 to FY 2018.
• The Administration is also tackling the prescription opioid crisis by expanding fraud and abuse detection and holding drug manufacturers accountable.
PREVENTING OPIOID ABUSE: The Trump Administration has made vital progress on reducing drug demand in an effort to address the root causes of this crisis.
• President Trump’s Administration has aimed to reduce demand by educating Americans about the dangers of opioid misuse and working to curb over-prescription.
• The Administration partnered with the Truth Initiative and Ad Council to educate youth about opioid misuse though an ad campaign that led to 1.4 billion total views.
◦ 58 percent of young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 are aware of the ads.
• In the President’s first year in office, 107,000 fewer adolescents started misusing prescription painkillers.
◦ Further, 68 percent fewer Americans over the age of 26 began using heroin than in the previous year.
• The Trump Administration’s efforts have helped generate a decline in opioid prescribing nationwide.
◦ In the first two years of the Administration, we saw a 34 percent decrease in the total amount of opioids prescribed.
• The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Opioid Safety Initiative has reduced the number of veterans on opioids by 43,395 in President Trump’s first two years in office—an 11 percent decline.
• The Administration is tackling opioid distribution fraud, including taking down $3.3 billion in opioid connected fraud from 60 prescribers across seven States in Appalachia.
• The Department of Labor (DOL) is reducing prescription opioid use among injured Federal workers.
◦ These efforts led to a 29 percent decrease in certain opioid prescriptions during President Trump’s first 14 months, relative to the same time period in 2015-2016.
SUPPORTING PATIENTS THROUGH RECOVERY: The Trump Administration is committed to supporting our neighbors, friends, and family members who are struggling with addiction.
• In order to truly defeat this crisis, it is vital that we support Americans struggling with addiction. Otherwise, efforts to cut off supply and demand will be in vain.
• President Trump’s Administration is working to ensure Americans facing addiction receive the care that they need.
◦ 255,000 more Americans received substance use treatment in 2017 compared to 2016.
◦ More young Americans aged 18 to 25 received outpatient treatment in 2017 than in 2016.
◦ 64 percent more patients received medication-assisted treatment at community health centers funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration in 2017.
◦ The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has helped 18 States expand access to inpatient and residential addiction treatment programs for low-income patients.
• The Administration has taken steps to expand the supply of lifesaving naloxone to first responders nationwide.
◦ There has been a 484 percent increase in naloxone dispensed monthly since President Trump took office.
◦ Naloxone prescriptions jumped 27 percent immediately following the Surgeon General’s advisory recommending that more Americans carry it.
◦ The VA alone dispensed 121,448 naloxone prescriptions, used to help 321 veterans during an overdose.
• The Trump Administration is working to expand access to evidence-based addiction treatments in every State and to our Nation’s veterans.
• Criminal justice reforms are being enacted to identify and treat offenders struggling with addiction.
◦ The Administration has increased funding for DOJ’s Drug Court program by 83 percent since 2016.
• The Administration is providing State and local leaders with data to help coordinate and optimize efforts to combat addiction and overdose.
• The Department of Housing and Urban Development funds supportive housing for individuals with substance abuse disorders through its homeless service programs.
• President Trump’s workforce development efforts are expanding job retraining and apprenticeships to those recovering from drug addiction.
◦ DOL awarded over $53 million to 12 States and the Cherokee Nation to help people affected by opioid addiction rejoin the workforce.