BY ROY ALBERT ANDRADE, K1LLER, Inc.
WASHINGTON, D.C - Opioids are natural or synthetic chemicals that travel through the bloodstream and attach to receptors in the brain, therefore, inhibiting pain. Opiods are available in different forms, such as skin patches, liquids, capsules, tablets, suppositories, etc., and are commonly abused nationwide by being swallowed or injected. Common opioids include heroin, and brand-name prescription drugs like Vicodin®, OxyContin®, Percodan®, methadone, and fentanyl. In 2016, over two million Americans as young as 12, reported having an addiction, and dependence to illicit or prescription opioids. Approximately 175 people die every day across the country as a result of drug overdoses, 91 specifically due to opioids.
On October 26, 2017 invited families touched by the nation's opioid crisis to sit in the East Room of the White House during the signing of a Presidential Memorandum ordering the Acting Secretary of Health and Human Services to declare the opioid crisis a national public health emergency. Over $1 billion has been distributed, and spent on addressing the opioid crisis as a national public health emergency. Beyond $800 million has been allocated towards the prevention and treatment of opioid dependency. “The best way to prevent drug addiction and overdose is to prevent people from abusing drugs in the first place. If they don’t start, they won't have a problem," stated President Donald Trump.
“President Trump has made this national crisis a top priority since he took office in January, and we are proud to be leading in this effort at HHS. His call to action today brings a new level of urgency to the comprehensive strategy HHS unveiled under President Trump, which empowers the real heroes of this fight: the communities on the front lines of the epidemic,” remarked Eric D. Hargan, Acting Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary.
Since the President took office, the Department of Veteran Affairs and the Department of Defense have collaborated on an $81 million joint research project, consisting of the centralization of non-drug treatment approaches for service members and veterans with chronic pain. The State Department locked in an agreement with the United Nations, adding two ingredients used to produce fentanyl to the international list of controlled substances, making it difficult for transnational criminal organizations to import them into the United States. The Department of Justice began indicting Chinese fentanyl manufacturers, and ended up seizing AlphaBay, an online market for opioid ingredients. The Food and Drug Administration created an action plan to curb opioid abuse, and dwindle the number of drugs being prescribed every year by 160 million.
Shawn W. Anderson