President Donald Trump will donate his third-quarter salary — $100,000 — to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to bolster its fight against the opioid epidemic in the country, the White House announced on Nov. 30, 2017. While making the announcement at a White House briefing, Acting Health Secretary Eric Hargan said, “Part of the way we aim to stop this crisis is by raising awareness of how devastating and deadly drug addiction can be.” Hargan said that this gesture by the President would definitely infuse zeal in the fight against the opioid crisis in the country.
In the wake of the President declaring the crisis a public health emergency in October, the current move comes as a proof of his resolve to take on the epidemic, which includes addiction and overdoses related to prescription painkillers, heroin and deadly synthetic drugs. Trump declared that his administration would scale up enforcement and treatment efforts. He also mentioned that prevention is the best option in this crusade against opioids. “We must adopt the most common-sense solution of all: to prevent our citizens from becoming addicted to drugs in the first place,” Trump had said.
The Trump administration is working on a massive advertising campaign to inform the common people about the ominous aftermath of opioid addiction. It will help people become aware of the devastation caused by opioids, authorities said. This is not the first time that Trump has decided to donate his salary. Earlier, he had forsaken his pay cheques for various developmental programs. He donated his first quarter salary to the National Park Service, while his second quarter salary was given to the Department of Education.
Opioid crisis crippling nation
The opioid epidemic in the United States is simply getting worse, with mounting overdose deaths in the last few years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that more than 33,000 people died in 2015 due to opioid overdoses that included prescription opioids, fentanyl and heroin. Experts feel that illicit fentanyl drugs entering the U.S. from neighboring countries is worsening the situation. Fentanyl is a synthetic drug that is 100 times more powerful than morphine. The street version of the drug poses an even greater threat. People are not aware of the concoction and when they consume such drugs, they put their lives at immense risk.
Besides, overprescription of opioids by doctors is one of the primary reasons behind the epidemic. According to the CDC, prescription opioid sales jumped almost four times between 1999 and 2014 in the country. Shockingly, more than 1,000 individuals get treatment in emergency departments for misusing prescription opioids every day.
Studies show that drug overdoses have killed more people in the country than most other causes like road accidents and gun violence. The country is in the throes of an epidemic that calls for drastic steps to address it and equal participation from all stakeholders.
Road to recovery
Whether it is addiction to opioid or any other illicit drug, treatment is possible and one can gain sobriety with intervention at a credible rehab center. If you are grappling with an addiction, seek help from one of the best drug addiction treatment centers immediately. Sovereign Health is a leading substance abuse treatment provider in the U.S. with a bevy of evidence-based treatment programs. Call our 24/7 helpline number or chat online to know more about our specialized drug addiction treatment programs to lead a sober life.