Democrats Ask Drug Policy Office to Do More to Combat Opioid Epidemic

pills, powder, heroin

Twenty Democratic senators are asking the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) to do more to combat the opioid epidemic, according to the Associated Press.

In a letter to ONDCP Acting Director Richard Baum, the senators urged the Trump Administration to implement recommendations made by former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy. The senators criticized an administration budget proposal that would cut almost $400 million from drug and mental health programs. They also voiced opposition to the Department of Justice’s increasing insistence on treating drug addiction as a criminal justice issue.

The President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, chaired by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, recently pushed back its deadline to release a report. It was the second such delay for the commission.

Senators who signed the letter included Chuck Schumer, Dianne Feinstein, Sherrod Brown, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Cory Booker.

Heroin, Fentanyl & Other Opioids: From Understanding to Action

Heroin and other opioids are ravaging communities across America. Deaths from heroin increased 328% between 2010 and 2015, and drug deaths from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are now seeing a sharp rise as well. More Americans die from drug overdoses than in car crashes, and this increasing trend is driven by Rx painkillers.

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    David Pease

    July 21, 2017 at 7:45 AM

    For many years the prevention world focused largely on reducing the flow of illicit, addictive substances into the country. More recently, demand reduction proponents have pursued understanding the brain chemistry that underlies and drives this dangerous human preoccupation with mind alteration.
    On a related front, it is now widely believed that “unprocessed trauma” may play a significant role in triggering and sustaining much of todays substance abuse, as well as the high relapse rate that awaits those in recovery. The growth of “trauma-informed care” in treatment centers is a welcome trend.
    On a related front, we know that kids are prepared to change risky behaviors if and when they perceive significant risk, but only 40% of kids today perceive alcohol that way and fewer (31%) see marijuana as very risky, especially since the emergence of the medical marijuana debate further distorted risk perceptions. Any comprehensive effort to address the opiate overdose problem will need to target these early gateway triggers that corrupt and disrupt related brain chemistry, leading to greater addiction vulnerability down the road.

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    John Byrom

    July 20, 2017 at 1:50 PM

    If Democrats want to affect the Opioid Epidemic they should stop pushing Marijuana legalization.

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