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posted by martyb on Friday August 11 2017, @11:23PM   Printer-friendly
from the just-say-emergency dept.

After some initial confusion about the White House's plans earlier in the week, President Trump has followed the recommendation of the President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, headed by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and declared the opioid crisis to be a national emergency. He has promised to spend "a lot" of time, effort, and money to combat the problem:

Among the other recommendations were to rapidly increase treatment capacity for those who need substance abuse help; to establish and fund better access to medication-assisted treatment programs; and to make sure that health care providers are aware of the potential for misuse and abuse of prescription opioids by enhancing prevention efforts at medical and dental schools.

President Trump also decried a slowdown in federal prosecutions of drug crimes and a reduction in sentence lengths. Activists and policy experts are wary of an enforcement-heavy approach:

Bill Piper, senior director for the Drug Policy Alliance, told CNN Tuesday that stricter enforcement "has never worked" and the President would be "better focusing on the treatment side of things." "A supply side approach to drugs has never worked," Piper said. "That is what has been tried for decades and it has failed for every drug it has applied to, including alcohol during Prohibition. As long as there has been and[sic] demand for drugs, there will be a supply." Trump would not be the first administration to crack down on drug use by focusing on enforcement, but Piper said doing so would play into a desire to "sound tough," not actually solve the problem. "It makes it look like they are doing something even when they are not," Piper said.

Trump also advocated for more abstinence-based treatment to combat the opioid crisis. "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. If they do start, it's awfully tough to get off," Trump said. That sort of strategy advocates for targeting kids and young adults with anti-drug messaging, evocative of the "Just Say No" ad campaign of the 1980s and early 1990s.

This crisis is serious, folks:

"It is a serious problem the likes of which we have never had. You know when I was growing up, they had the LSD and they had certain generations of drugs. There's never been anything like what's happened to this country over the last four or five years. And I have to say this in all fairness, this is a worldwide problem, not just a United States problem. This is happening worldwide. But this is a national emergency, and we are drawing documents now to so attest."

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bob_super on Saturday August 12 2017, @12:00AM (5 children)

    by bob_super (1357) on Saturday August 12 2017, @12:00AM (#552643)

    Same as prostitution: regulate, license, take the criminal aspects out, help people get out/off, tax it to pay for the trouble.
    And yes, illegal dealers, like pimps, should be dealt with, rather than customers.

    But lengthy prisons sentences for all is the way it's going to go, courtesy of the Prison Industrial Complex lobbying.

    Starting Score:    1  point
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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 12 2017, @10:48AM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 12 2017, @10:48AM (#552821)

    Why do the johns get a pass?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 12 2017, @02:11PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 12 2017, @02:11PM (#552847)

      Why should they be punished? They are paying for a service, and the prostitute supplies the service. It just needs to be legalised, so it can be regulated and made safe for both parties.

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 12 2017, @11:40PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 12 2017, @11:40PM (#553033)

        Reducing all human interactions to the level of buying a burrito does not a healthy society make.

        • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Monday August 14 2017, @04:14PM

          by bob_super (1357) on Monday August 14 2017, @04:14PM (#553737)

          Welcome to Raw Capitalism.
          For hints of social conscience, please consult the Socialism aisle.

  • (Score: 2) by wonkey_monkey on Saturday August 12 2017, @05:10PM

    by wonkey_monkey (279) on Saturday August 12 2017, @05:10PM (#552899) Homepage

    Same as prostitution; ... help people get ... off

    Yes, I've heard that's how it works.

    systemd is Roko's Basilisk