By Diane Nahas
When President Donald Trump campaigned in New Hampshire in 2016, he discovered the high death rates from overdosing in the state and nationwide. In 2015, the death toll nationwide was 30,000+. In 2016, overdose deaths were approximately 59,000, while Vietnam War casualties are numbered at 58,200. Drug overdoses have become the leading cause of death of Americans for Americans under age 50, according to research
gathered by the New York Times in June. Overdoses are expected to rise in 2017.
During the campaign, Trump connected his personal story to the crisis. He remembered his brother’s death at age 40 from alcoholism and commented on the strength and power of addiction to harmful substances in his speech to New Hampshirites. He promised the audience that he–and only he–could solve our national addiction crisis.
Fast forward to his incumbency: he met with Dr. Tom Price, an orthopedic surgeon turned politician, now Secretary of Health and Human Services. Trump and Price reviewed New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s Commission’s findings on the subject, which recommended distribution of Naloxone-Narcan, the treatment for overdose at
a reduced price to First Responders, and the expansion of Medicaid coverage for inpatient facilities to treat the ever-growing number of addicts.
Noteworthy is the spat between Republican House Leader Mitch McConnell and the newly-minted Republican, Mr. Trump, on McConnell’s inability to garner Republican support to repeal Obamacare-the ACA with its provision for funding Medicaid. Medicaid
is the major source of funding nationwide for addiction services. Non-Trumpian Republicans are cognizant of the need for providing treatment to the nation’s addicts.
Diane Nahas is an NCC student and frequent contributor to the Vignette.