Washington, DC - The Donald J. Trump Administration has taken additional actions in recent weeks to combat the opioid crisis on all fronts.

  • On March 23, President Trump signed an omnibus funding bill into law, which provided approximately $4 billion to combat the opioid crisis.
    • The omnibus provided critical funding for law enforcement, addiction treatment and prevention, drug courts, treatment research, safer prescribing initiatives, and more.
  • Last week, the Attorney General announced the results of the first operation led by the new Joint Criminal Opioid Darknet Enforcement (J-CODE) Team.
    • The operation, which took place from March 27 to March 30, resulted in eight arrests and the seizure of weapons, drugs, counterfeit currency, and computer equipment.
    • The J-CODE Team is a new FBI initiative targeting drug trafficking, especially trafficking in fentanyl and other opioids, over the darknet.
  • The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) conducted a 45-day surge in February and March to investigate medical professionals who were prescribing disproportionately high numbers of opioids.
    • The DEA surge led to 28 arrests and revoked 147 registrations of medical professionals, taking away their ability to dispense controlled substances.
  • The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) continues to take sweeping action to disrupt and dismantle transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) that illicitly introduce fentanyl, heroin, and other dangerous opioids into the United States.
    • So far in 2018, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) has provided training to more than 1,200 other Federal, State and local law enforcement officers on the investigation of opioid trafficking over the internet and darknet and the use of crypto-currencies by TCOs.
  • On April 5, 2018, the Surgeon General issued an Advisory on Naloxone and Opioid Overdose, recommending that more people keep the overdose reversing drug on hand.
    • The Surgeon General has recommended that people using opioids, health care practitioners, and others in contact with those who have an opioid use disorder carry naloxone.
  • This month, President Trump’s Administration brought the “Prescribed to Death” memorial to President’s Park near the White House, helping raise awareness about the opioid crisis.
    • The “Prescribed to Death” memorial was created by the National Safety Council and features a wall with 22,000 simulated pills, each with a face carved into it to represent the very real human toll this crisis has on American communities.

THE CRISIS NEXT DOOR: The opioid crisis has devastated communities across our Nation, affecting Americans from all walks of life.

  • It is estimated that more than 2 million Americans will suffer from addiction to prescription or illicit opioids in 2018.
  • The overdose epidemic in America is spreading both geographically and demographically according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
    • In 2016, drug overdose deaths increased across all races and ethnicities and locations, from rural communities to big cities.
  • Tens of thousands of Americans continue to lose their lives to drug overdoses each year, largely due to the growing opioid crisis.
    • 63,632 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2016, nearly two-thirds of which involved a prescription or illicit opioid.
  • Drastic increases in deaths from synthetic opioid overdoses have contributed to recent increases in overall overdose deaths.
    • From 2015 to 2016, the overdose death rate from synthetic opioids more than doubled.
    • Death rates for overdoses involving synthetic opioids increased in 21 states, ten of which saw their rates double.

CONFRONTING DRIVING FORCES BEHIND THE CRISIS: President Trump has released an initiative aimed at confronting underlying forces that are fueling the opioid crisis.

  • In March 2018, President Trump released his Initiative to Stop Opioid Abuse and Reduce Drug Supply and Demand.
  • The President’s Initiative aims to reduce drug demand, cut off illicit drug supplies, and expand access to proven opioid addiction treatments.
  • One of the key pillars of President Trump’s Initiative aims to reduce drug demand through education, increased awareness, and preventing over-prescription.
    • The White House has launched a new website, crisisnextdoor.gov, allowing Americans to share their stories about the dangers of opioid addiction.
    • The Initiative will implement a safer prescribing plan to reduce opioid prescriptions by one-third and ensure best practices are more widely used for opioid prescribing.
  • President Trump’s Initiative will crack down on the flow of illegal drugs into the United States, including dangerous synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.
    • Our land borders and ports of entry will be secured against smuggling.
    • More advance data will be required on international shipments, enabling more rigorous screening and inspections to crack down on shipments of illicit drugs.
    • Expanded Department of Justice (DOJ) efforts will prosecute medical professionals and drug manufacturers and distributors for unlawful practices which feed the opioid epidemic.
    • Scaled up enforcement efforts by DOJ’s J-CODE Team and ICE-HSI will shut down illicit opioid sales conducted online.
    • DOJ will seek the death penalty in drug trafficking cases, where appropriate under the law.
  • The Initiative will help those struggling with addiction by expanding access to overdose-reversing drugs, evidence-based treatment, and addiction recovery services.
    • First responders will be properly supplied with naloxone.
    • Evidence-based treatment, including Medication-Assisted Treatment, will be expanded in every State.
    • The President is calling for Congress to change the restrictive law that prevents Medicaid from reimbursing treatment at certain residential facilities with more than 16 beds.
    • Service members, veterans, and their eligible family members will receive on-demand, evidence-based addiction treatment.
    • New programs and reforms will be used to identify and provide treatment options for Federal inmates struggling with opioid addiction.