President Trump Hosts an Opioid Epidemic Roundtable Discussion…

Earlier today President Trump followed through on one of his campaign promises; a White House initiative to combat the epidemic of Opioid abuse. President Trump begins with gathering information during a listening session:

[TRANSCRIPT] 11:32 A.M. EDT – THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody. Thank you for being here with us this morning. During my campaign, I promised to take action to keep drugs from pouring into our country. And I want to just thank Secretary Kelly; he’s done an amazing job. Down 61 percent at the border right now in terms of people and the drugs that are being stopped. It will take longer, and there’s great cooperation with Mexico and others. But we’re doing a good job.

And we want to help those who have become so badly addicted. Drug abuse has become a crippling problem throughout the United States. Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental death in our country. And opioid overdose deaths have nearly quadrupled since 1999. This is a total epidemic, and I think it’s probably almost untalked about compared to the severity that we’re witnessing.

Today, we’re bringing together leaders from inside our government and outside of our government, and courageous people who have been affected — and really affected — by this terrible affliction. In a joint campaign, we want to battle drug addiction and combat opioid, and we have to do it — a crisis.

We’re fortunate to have Governor Chris Christie with us, a friend of mine — a great friend of mine — a very, very early endorser — in fact, an immediate endorser — once he got out of the race. (Laughter.) He liked himself more than he liked me. (Laughter.) But other than that —

GOVERNOR CHRISTIE: I still do, sir, but that’s all right. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: Other than that, he’s been great. And he’s a very effective guy, I will tell you — to have you working on this — and a great moment, actually, if people remember, was you talking about your friend. That was probably your greatest moment during the campaign for President, and it showed how much you knew about this issue. So, thank you very much, Chris.

We’ll work directly with representatives from state and local governments, law enforcement, medical professionals, and victims. I especially want to thank Pam Garozzo — where’s Pam? Hi, Pam. How are you? — for being here. Pam sadly lost her son, beautiful boy, to drug addiction. And, Pam, we mourn your terrible loss, and we honor your strength and the fact that you’re here. And he will not have died in vain, okay? We’ll make sure — he will not have died in vain. So thank you, Pam. We appreciate it.

We’re also thankful to welcome AJ Solomon and Vanessa Vitolo, both of whom have fought addiction and are now symbols of hope and recovery, right? Good job.

We must get our citizens to help, and we need help. Everybody has to help. And we will not have to go through what Pam has gone through and so many other families in this country have gone through. We want to help people like AJ and Vanessa, who struggled through the dark depths of addiction. Not easy. Not easy. And they found this bright promise of recovery.

We wish to also focus on prevention and law enforcement, which is why I’ve issued previous executive actions to strengthen law enforcement and dismantle criminal cartels. Drug cartels have spread their deadly industry across our nation, and the availability of cheap narcotics — the cheap narcotics — some of it comes in cheaper than candy — has devastated our communities. It’s really one of the biggest problems our country has, and nobody really wants to talk about it.

Vice President Pence mentioned this coming into the room. He said, this is a problem like nobody understands. And I think they’re going to start to understand it. And, more importantly, we have to solve the problem.

Our Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, is working very hard on this problem. It takes a lot of his time, because this causes so much of the problem that you have to solve — that problem.

So solving the drug crisis will require cooperation across government and across society, including early intervention to keep America’s youth off this destructive path. We must work together, trust each other, and forge a true partnership based on the common ground of cherishing human life.

So this is a very, very important meeting, and maybe we’ll go around the room and we’ll just say hello to everybody so we all know who we are. And then the press will leave and we’ll start talking.

General Sessions, we know who you are. Go ahead.

SECRETARY DeVOS: Betsey DeVos, Secretary of Education.

Secretary Shulkin: David Shulkin, Secretary of the VA.

MS. GAROZZO: Pam Garozzo, parent of Carlos.

MR. SOLOMON: AJ Solomon. Thanks for introducing me, Mr. President.

MS. VITOLO: Vanessa. Thank you so much for having me.

SECRETARY KELLY: Secretary Kelly, Homeland Security.

DR. WRIGHT: Don Wright, Acting Assistant Secretary for Health.

MR. ROSENBERG: Chuck Rosenberg. I run the DEA.

MR. BAUM: Richard Baum, Acting Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

MS. MADRAS: Bertha Madras, Harvard Medical School.

MS. BONDI: Pam Bondi, Attorney General of Florida.

MR. RIVERA: Mariano Rivera, founder of the Mariano Rivera Foundation.

THE PRESIDENT: Oh, they could use you now. (Laughter.) You know, I think you’d make $100 million a year right. I tell you, I watched for many years Mariano. I’d sit with George, and George always felt good when Mariano was —

MR. RIVERA: That’s right.

THE PRESIDENT: He threw the heaviest pitch any time. I don’t know — you made the ball like — it weighed 30 pounds, right?

MR. RIVERA: Something like that.

THE PRESIDENT: How about the broken bats? (Laughter.) How many broken bats?

MR. RIVERA: Too many.

THE PRESIDENT: Those bats used to crack, right? Thank you. Great honor.

And, Jared, thank you, and Chris. Chris, why don’t you say a few words?

GOVERNOR CHRISTIE: Mr. President, first, to the President and the Vice President, thank you so much for focusing on this issue. As you know, Mr. Vice President, as the governor of Indiana for four years, this issue causes enormous pain and destruction to everyday families in every state in this country. And that’s why, Mr. President, I thought it was so important to bring Pam and AJ and Vanessa here today for you meet them and hear directly from them their stories. I’m just so honored that the President would ask me to take on this task with the group that we put together. And I’m thrilled to work with the Attorney General, as well, on the issues of prevention and interdiction of drugs, so we don’t get people hooked in the first place.

But the most important thing to me is, I think the President and I both agree that addiction is a disease, and it’s a disease that can be treated, and that we need to make sure we let people know — the President talked about how folks don’t talk about it. We talked about cancer, we talk about heart disease, we talk about diabetes, and we’re not afraid to talk about it. But people are afraid and ashamed to talk about drug addiction. And while they don’t talk about it, we lose lives — lives of good people.

In the end, the President ended by saying — talking about life. And he and I are both pro-life. The difference with the President and I is we’re pro-life for the whole life, not just for the nine months in the womb, but for the whole life. Every life is an individual gift from God. And no life is irredeemable, and people make mistakes — we all have. The people who mistakes of drug use — and it is a mistake — we can’t throw their life away. The President and I believe that every life is an individual gift from God and is precious.

And I think that’s why it was such an important issue to him in the campaign, and why I’m so honored to work with a President who understands the value of life and the value of second chances. And that’s what this commission, I hope, is going to be about, to be able to give he and the Vice President the best suggestions we possible can about how to have a national fight against this epidemic.

Mr. President, thank you for your confidence in all of us, and thank you for your support.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Maybe, Vanessa, you can tell a little bit of your story. We’re so proud of you.

MS. VITOLO: Don’t put me on the spot, but — (laughter) — so, first of all, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you so much to brining this whole platform to a national level. You are literally — everyone at this table is saving lives. There are people dying every single day, and it’s heartbreaking.

And, Governor Christie, I need you to know that I draw so much strength and courage from you, standing up for people that had nearly given up completely. That’s extraordinary.

I come from a small town in South Jersey. My aunt is a teacher, and she taught me the importance of education. My uncle is a firefighter. He taught me the importance of law and order. I went to a private high school. I was a cheerleader. I went to college, where I joined a sorority. After I left college, I had an injury and was prescribed pain killers, and so quickly it took off from there. I didn’t know anything about heroin. I was never warned — not that it’s anybody else’s fault; I take full responsibility.

THE PRESIDENT: So this all began very innocently with an injury.

MS. VITOLO: Absolutely, yes — with a prescription of pain killers.

THE PRESIDENT: And what was it? What was the drug they gave?

MS. VITOLO: Percocet.

THE PRESIDENT: I see.

MS. VITOLO: And then from Percocet, it went to oxy. And then from oxy, it went to heroin, because it is definitely, like you said, more accessible and so much cheaper. Very quickly, I lost everything. I was homeless. I chose to be homeless. I was living on the streets of Atlantic City. I was in and out of jail, and I was lucky enough to see some kind of light where I became a drug court participant — a drug court system that we have in New Jersey, which saved my life. They sent me to a long-term treatment facility, Integrity House, in New Jersey, and they saved my life.

THE PRESIDENT: How hard was that, getting off this horrible stuff? How hard was it for you?

MS. VITOLO: Physically, it was so hard. And I felt that was the hardest part. But then, a couple of months later, comes the psychological aspect of it, and you still think that you need it, because you’re still not as happy when you’re happy, you’re still not as sad. You have no feelings. It’s like you’re a shell. And it takes over your whole life — to choose to be homeless instead of live with your parents; to choose not to speak to your family.

THE PRESIDENT: And what did your parents say during this whole process? Because I’m looking at you, you’re like all-American — perfect. You’re a perfect person. And I’m saying it’s hard to believe that you’re living on the streets.

MS. VITOLO: Well, it was so hard for my family. My mom would drive the streets of Atlantic City begging people to find me. She couldn’t find me. I was that lost in every aspect of the word. In jail — like I said, I was sent to Integrity House, and they saved my life. They gave me a second chance at life. And from there, I went to a halfway house, I got a job where I quickly moved up. I’m now a manager. Got my own apartment. I’m graduating drug court this year. And it’s amazing the opportunities that have been given to me. I’m sitting across from you right now. (Laughter.) Three years ago, I didn’t have a place to live, and today I’m here to represent the light that can be born out of the defeat of this darkness.

There is hope, and there is a tomorrow, and there is a day after that. You just have to fight for it. And people have to know that there’s people fighting for them too, because you give up. There comes a point where you feel as if you have nothing. You already ruined everything, so there’s no point to get sober. But I’m here to show you that there is hope. You can get better. There is a better way, and there is a better life. And I wish I could tell you the heartbreak that I feel with the people that are overdosing every day and dying, and the families that have to go through that suffering — because there is no need. We can help somebody. We can change this. And that’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever been a part of in my whole life.

And I would like to thank each and every one of you for giving me this opportunity. It means the world to me. It is my life. I used to think that being an addict was my downfall. But look at me, I’m here today; it’s obviously made me a stronger and better person.

THE PRESIDENT: Incredible story. Thank you very much. (Applause.) Amazing, amazing job. Thank you very much, Vanessa. And we’ll talk to you in a little while.

AJ? And I know how successful your father is and what a great man he is, so that also put pressure on you in a different way, right?

MR. SOLOMON: Yeah, well, I didn’t end up going into politics, so — (laughter) —

THE PRESIDENT: Don’t do it. (Laughter.)

MR. SOLOMON: So Vanessa really spelled it out. But I grew up in a little town in South Jersey, called Haddonfield. It’s a picturesque town, really good schools. My dad now is a Supreme Court justice in the state of New Jersey. Thank you for the appointment, Governor. (Laughter.) And my mom also serves in state government. And I grew up, I was a good student. I was an athlete. And I found alcohol and other drugs, and I was probably well on my way to having an issue, but then I found OxyContin. My dad got in an accident, and I decided that it would be a good idea to try it. And that’s really where my story started.

THE PRESIDENT: Immediately hooked? Because I hear so much about OxyContin. Were you immediately hooked?

MR. SOLOMON: Yeah. When I did my first one, I remember doing it and thinking, this is how I want to live the rest of my life. I was always searching for something outside of myself that would make me feel better. People think the drug is the problem, and to some extent its accessibility is. But addiction is a disease that I always had, and just had to be unlocked. And that’s what I feel OxyContin did for me.

And when that happened — you know, now I’m a brother and a son, and a business owner — I own a treatment center, which is awesome. And I love it. I’m so happy I went that route instead of — I was on track — I was on the Governor’s advance team. Not that I didn’t love it. (Laughter.) But I really enjoy what I do helping other alcoholics and addicts. Back then I was —

THE PRESIDENT: Do you have still an alcohol problem?

MR. SOLOMON: I don’t drink. I don’t do any drugs.

THE PRESIDENT: But that was — you could see you were going to have that problem. But you found this OxyContin?

MR. SOLOMON: Yes. And I was a thief and a liar, and I ended up homeless. Different story — my parents did not want me home. I was living out of my car, and then I ended up going to a long-term treatment center. And I accepted what I was, that I was an addict. And I would rather have died than live with that. So I left. My plan was to kill myself. I wasn’t able to get home. So I surrendered.

And a lot of people don’t believe this part of the story — and whatever someone’s conception of God or a higher power is –I got on my knees on a shuttle back to treatment; I hadn’t used. And I said, God either please just let me die — because my plan was to shoot myself; I didn’t have a gun — let me die, or just let me get this. And I swear to you that that obsession that Vanessa talked about to use was lifted that day. And my goal now in life is to help another alcoholic and an addict.

And I think — back then I would have rather died than had this disease. But now, a normal person can be miserable, and they can be angry and resentful, and that’s just how they’ll live their life. Me, if I get angry, resentful, if I’m miserable, I’ll drink and then I’ll do dope — heroin. And then I will die. So I’m grateful.

THE PRESIDENT: But not — not anymore, right?

MR. SOLOMON: I don’t have — I’m not allowed to be miserable. I have to be trying to get the most out of life. Normal people don’t have that. They won’t die if they don’t do that. So I’m grateful that I am what I am. Yes, I guess that’s it.

THE PRESIDENT: That’s an amazing story. How did you get off it? How did you get — did you go to a center or something? Or what happened?

MR. SOLOMON: I did. I went in the mountains in Arizona to this place, and I was only coming off of opiates. And they said — it was this tall guy, I’ll never forget — his name was Bird — he said, what are you coming off of? I said, opiates. He said, you don’t need detox. You’ll feel like you’re going to die, but you won’t die. And they put me in the center, and I detoxed cold turkey. And —

THE PRESIDENT: And what was that like?

MR. SOLOMON: It’s like 20 times worse than the flu, but the anxiety is the worst part, the suicidal ideations crawling out of your skin. I mean, if I had drugs in front of me, I would have done them.

THE PRESIDENT: So he was right?

MR. SOLOMON: Oh, yeah. Yeah, he was right.

THE PRESIDENT: But you got through it? How long did that take?

MR. SOLOMON: Two weeks.

THE PRESIDENT: It was two weeks of — they used to call it cold turkey, right?

MR. SOLOMON: Cold turkey.

THE PRESIDENT: Do they still do that?

MR. SOLOMON: Yeah.

THE PRESIDENT: No way. So you went through two weeks of that, and that was hell?

MR. SOLOMON: Yes.

THE PRESIDENT: But then you knew you were going to get better?

MR. SOLOMON: No, then the mental obsession came, and I wanted to use so badly, but I had accepted what I was, and I knew I couldn’t. So I wanted the obsession to stop. I wanted my brain to stop yelling at me to pick up. I didn’t want to be that person anymore. So I figured I’d kill myself, and it would stop. But my dad — you talked about how powerful he is, he somehow cancelled all my personal credit cards. I still don’t know how he did it. (Laughter.) And I wasn’t able to get on a plane to get home to get what I needed to end my life. And so I got on my knees and prayed, and that was really the beginning.

THE PRESIDENT: So he did you a great service when he did that?

MR. SOLOMON: He did.

THE PRESIDENT: Smart guy. You have done an amazing job. It’s so great. Not easy. Not easy, right, AJ?

MR. SOLOMON: No, not easy.

THE PRESIDENT: But we’re very proud of you. (Applause.)

Chris.

GOVERNOR CHRISTIE: Mr. President, Pam works in the New Jersey State Department of Education. And she’s someone who came to the candlelight vigil that I held right before Christmas for addicts in New Jersey and their families. And Pam wants to tell you the story about her son, Carlos.

MS. GAROZZO: Yes. First of all, Mr. President, Mr. Vice President, Cabinet, and guests, this is an extreme honor. I am here unfortunately because my son is no longer here.

As Governor Christie said, I came to his candlelight vigil celebrating the fact — with our Education Commissioner, who is my boss — that my son was 10 months clean. He had been a year and a half clean before that, before he had a relapse — one of many, one of several. Just celebrating his life and celebrating the lives of everybody who are in recovery.

And then later in December — actually before that, I just want to introduce you. This is my son, Carlos. He’s wearing a suit because on December 3rd — this is not his — was not his normal attire as a 23-year-old. On December 3rd, he was here at my church with my husband, Mike, and me — Mike, who is seated behind me and to the left — walking me down the aisle on my wedding day, one of the happiest days of my life. Carlos was healthy, happy, thriving, working, getting ready to go back to school, had a job, had a steady girlfriend, had everything together — 10 and a half months clean.

So celebrating him at the candlelight vigil, previously having been at our wedding on December 3rd, and then three weeks later, on December 23rd, two police detectives show up at our door and tell me the news that no parent ever wants to hear. And we just didn’t understand. Because this is a disease, you don’t understand the dynamics of it. You can’t — you’re not — nothing prepares you for this journey.

Unfortunately, my son OD’d after having been clean for 10 and a half months — OD’d on a drug that was laced with fentanyl. So he died pretty quickly.

THE PRESIDENT: Which is getting worse and worse I hear, Jeff.

MS. GAROZZO: Yes.

THE PRESIDENT: Getting just out of control.

MS. GAROZZO: So Carlos started smoking marijuana when he was 15 and a half years old, and for him — and he’d be the first to tell you this — it’s absolutely for him a gateway drug. It led to heroin, cocaine, crystal meth. At 18, when he was a senior in high school, with months to graduate, he had a crystal meth overdose. And by the time I got to the hospital — because his friend drove him there; I didn’t even know that he was doing this to this extent — by the time I got to the hospital, the ER doctor came out and said, you need to call your family now; we don’t think there’s anything we can do for your son.

We managed to transfer him to another hospital. He got the care that he needed. He was in a coma for three days and suffered some minor memory loss from that.

And of course, at this time as an 18-year-old, said, oh, I’m never going to touch anything again, I’m going to stay clean. We had him in a program. But less than a couple months later, he’s back on the streets not only taking drugs, but got caught smoking pot, ended up in jail. I had told him early on, I will put every penny, every dime I have into your recovery and getting you clean and helping you stay clean and supporting you 100 percent. But if you end up in trouble with the law, there is nothing I’m doing for you because you have to figure out the way out of that.

So he was in jail a couple of times. He actually went through cold turkey in jail getting clean. When he was clean for a period of almost a year and a half, during that time he was going back to school. He was at this point around 20 years old — 20, 21 — was working, volunteering at a recovery house, working with people trying to help them work through their program. He spoke regionally at a conference in West Virginia. They selected him because he’s a young kid, and they figured he would be a good spokesperson, maybe be able to speak to people’s hearts.

Sadly, as I said, he did pass. Nothing in parenting prepares you to deal with the fact that Mike and I will outlive our son; that his sisters, who he idolized and who were so close to him, won’t see him anymore; that there will be empty seats at the Thanksgiving table; that Christmas presents — we won’t be able to give. I’ll miss his laughter. I’ll miss his smile. I’ll miss him, his hug. I’ll miss his dry, witty sense of humor.

When I asked him if he was walking down the aisle for my wedding to Mike, he asked me, what does that entail? Sure, I think I can do it. But what does that mean? And I said — I explained to him, and he said, oh, but I’m pretty sure — I’ve watched enough TV to know that I have to take Mike on a fishing trip and see if he measures up. (Laughter.)

He was constantly — he’s just that kind of guy. He was just — I had people coming up to us at the life celebration, saying, your son is amazing. You don’t know, your son saved me. Your son was one of the people who came and dragged me out of Philly, the tenement house that I was living in, a flophouse, and took him in his place and gave him money that he really didn’t have, just to — brought me to meetings.

So this is why I’m here. I’m here because I’d like to see nationally what’s happening — what Governor Christie has managed to have happen in New Jersey, with, of course, the help of the legislators there to make the programs for recovery accessible and affordable to all. Because this is — I was fortunate to have a good insurance plan. But there did come a point where Carlos needed to be in a program that wasn’t entirely covered by insurance, and they wanted to exit him in four days.

Now, four days in a recovery program — for those of you who have had no experience — you guys know — that’s nothing. Carlos begged to stay in. So we scrambled, got the money, and were able to keep him in.

I’m here so that parents — no parent should have to bury their child. No parent should have to wander — as Vanessa said, I did the drives looking for Carlos all hours of the day and night. Nobody should have to go through this. This is entirely something that can be dealt with, and I appreciate what you are willing to do in shedding a light on this.

THE PRESIDENT: If Carlos stayed longer in the program, would he have been in better shape? Would it have possibly saved him? Or not really?

MS. GAROZZO: Well, I think so. He was in a couple of programs for a period of — one program that was —

(Participant coughs.)

THE PRESIDENT: Do you want some water? Are you okay?

MS. GAROZZO: I’m good.

THE PRESIDENT: No, I’m just saying — behind you. I thought she —

MS. GAROZZO: Oh, I’m sorry. (Laughter.)

He was in a program for 35 days. That was his most successful program. As AJ mentioned, Carlos had an underlying problem with self-esteem and feeling good about himself. He just never could quite get there — even though he was an accomplished musician. He had a scholarship to a prestigious university. As a freshman going in, he was accepted into an engineering program that normally that didn’t happen. He had a lot of gifts and talents, but he just never saw them. He was always looking for how can I escape. And like AJ, he also thought several times about suicide.

So I think it’s treating the whole person. It’s not just the disease of addiction, but it’s what is causing you to go after the drugs, to seek it out, to stay with it. And once you’re hooked, you’re hooked. But how can you work within yourself, with help, to feel good about yourself, to feel that you’re worthy. Everybody is loved. Everybody should feel loved. As Governor Christie said, every life is a precious life. And I believe, Governor, you also said that every life is worthy of being reclaimed. And unfortunately, Carlos couldn’t entirely reclaim his life.

And behind everybody who is trying — who’s suffering with addiction or in recovery, there’s parents and there’s family just like me.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Pam. Carlos sounds like he was a great guy, and I know how tough it is. So many people go through it, and we appreciate you being here.

MS. GAROZZO: Thank you, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: Jeff, do you have anything to say?

ATTORNEY GENERAL SESSIONS: Well, I just want to thank you for sharing your stories because that’s what we’re all here about, and we’re seeing a surge in drug abuse and addiction.

The New England Journal of Medicine had — I think our DEA commissioned it — pointed out that with regard to heroin, we’ve got more availability, lower price, and much higher purity. That creates more addiction quicker, I think. And it’s a very dangerous situation. You throw fentanyl into that too. And I do believe, Mr. President, we took — when I became a United States attorney in ’81, and the President and others led, the Education Department led — and it took 20 years, but we reduced drug abuse in America, addiction and death dramatically.

It’s begun now to start back up. And I think if we apply —

THE PRESIDENT: When did this start again? It’s so bad. When did it start, would you say — over the last how many years — where it really took the big spike up?

ATTORNEY GENERAL SESSIONS: I think the fentanyl brought the — if you noticed here — Chuck, maybe — the DEA Director Chuck Rosenberg —

THE PRESIDENT: You would know that. When do you think it really started spiking up, Chuck?

MR. ROSENBERG: Mr. President, there have been spikes in the past. We’ve seen spikes in ’05, ’06, and ’07. I’d say in the last eight to ten years, though, the trajectory has been awful. And there’s a number of pieces to it.

One is that we consume, as Americans, most of the world’s supply of hydrocodone and oxycodone. And as these good folks have attested to, once you get hooked on that, heroin is cheaper and more plentiful. And folks just make that transition.

We have to change the culture. I think we can. One of the things we do at DEA — and I’m extraordinarily proud of our men and women — we do law enforcement really well. But ever since I was a brand, new federal prosecutor many, many years ago, I never thought we would enforce or prosecute our way out of this. That’s part of it. It’s a really important part of it.

But we’ve also at the DEA now turned to education, prevention. We talked about those things all the time. I want folks to know, if I may, sir, we do a national takeback program twice a year. The next one is on April 29th, and people can drop off at 5,000 sites around the country — courtesy of DEA and our local partners — anything in their medicine cabinet that they don’t want. Last year, we took in 1.6 million pounds of stuff. It includes everything.

THE PRESIDENT: That’s great.

MR. ROSENBERG: But we’re going to do that relentlessly twice a year, encourage people to turn in these drugs, and try and break this cycle.

THE PRESIDENT: So it’s been really — it spiked over the last eight to ten years. Would that have anything to do with the weakening of the borders? Because a lot of it comes from the southern border.

MR. ROSENBERG: A lot of it comes through Mexico. A lot of it is in produced in Mexico. I should say this: We’ve worked closely with our Mexican counterparts. There are a lot of brave men and women down there trying to help us do what we do. Secretary Kelly knows that as well as anyone.

A lot of it also comes from Asia. I was recently in China; I met with our counterparts there. A lot of the synthetics, fentanyl and carfentanyl, which is even worse than fentanyl, is produced in China. Our Chinese counterparts have added some of those drugs to their banned list, precluding it from — or hopefully precluding it from leaving China and coming to North America.

So there’s a lot of work to be done. You got a lot of smart people around this table. But I can tell you from the perspective of the DEA, sir, law enforcement is crucial. Education and prevention and treatment is equally crucial.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, Chuck.

All right, thank you very much, folks.

Q Will you talk about this on the road? Are you going to take this on the road, President Trump?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, we will. It’s a big issue — very, very big issue. Thank you, thank you.

END – 12:05 P.M. EDT

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86 Responses to President Trump Hosts an Opioid Epidemic Roundtable Discussion…

  1. CheshireCat says:

    And then there is the even bigger epidemic of blame the Russians which rots the mind even more.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. BG says:

    Donald still needs to get some advice on his plague proportion use of “great” and “amazing” when the thing he is describing is obviously neither great nor amazing. It actual does incremental micro damage to his credibility when we have to make allowance for his inaccurate language as Don just being Don.

    Like

    • muffyroberts says:

      You are neither great or amazing, so….

      Liked by 4 people

    • John Galt says:

      Are you feeling micro aggressed? Need a safe space?

      Liked by 2 people

    • dekester says:

      Great idea. He could learn so much from you.. sarc.
      He is President of the U.S. and is married to a super model with real class. He is the father of five children, all of whom appear to be first class individuals.
      He has friends the world over, and beautiful resort properties on many Continents. Add to that his incredible T.V. personality and the fact that he is a multi billionaire.
      Maybe send him a postcard with your suggestions.

      PDJT is the greatest thing to happen to the free world since maybe Churchill.

      Thank you

      Liked by 7 people

      • Sid Farkiss says:

        I agree, but opiods and womens empowerment feels like rearranging lounge chairs around the pool right now. Something, anything, powerful and of real significance, knocking the domestic enemy back on its heels must happen. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting restless.

        Like

        • Its very powerful to shut down the heroin coming into this country that is significant building the wall with border enforcement is significant.

          Like

          • Your Tour Guide says:

            You can’t drain the swamp without defunding it. Think back over the decades.
            How much drug money was flowing around to cover costs back around
            Noreiga’s time? The Clintons and Mena? Kentucky during John Y, Brown’s
            tenure ( threw that one in as a wild card).

            Read Katherine Austin Fitt’s writings on the Narco dollar economy. It’s been
            a decades long two set of books operation to cover the costs of what the elites
            have been stealing off of our backs. Best of all, middle America will stand tight
            with controlling the heroin/ drug epidemic.

            A close relative is an ER nurse in a hospital in suburban Cincinnati. A relatively
            affluent area. The hospital’s not that big. Was astonished during the holidays
            when he described the amount of overdose deaths they were seeing in their
            ER on the weekends. At least one. EVERY weekend. In a less then 150 bed
            hospital. It made my heart hurt hearing about it. I love Ohio. I will always be
            a Buckeye. Give me my state back. Still want to move back to retire. Atlanta’s
            big, and many parts are nice, but it’s wayyyyyy corrupt. I compare it to living
            on a movie set. You open the door on the nice house, and there’s nothing there.

            Liked by 2 people

        • WOW, I’ve never heard a President care so much about people’s lives been destroyed by opioids and other serious drugs. I thought this was one of his best promises and truly concerned listening sessions. We know people who have lost families from these drugs.

          Liked by 3 people

          • dalethorn says:

            Those statements in the presentation “….we are pro-life for the whole life, not just the birth process…” – that says a lot about the character of this president and his commitment to the quality of our lives. That we’re not here in this life just to beat the next guy or make a lot of money, but we’re here to live and give thanks for what we have. I am in awe of this whole presentation.

            Like

          • I think it’s an empathy that comes from personal experience. The President’s older brother Fred died of alcoholism at age 43.

            Like

      • I will go with your statement about his being the greatest thing to happen to the free world in a long time once he de-weaponizes the irs and kills the fed.

        We will never be truly free with liberty again as long as those two heinous and evil entities are still manipulating our fiat economy and stealing the only disposable income those who were once middle class have left.

        I mean it. When do we get to US??? When?

        Liked by 1 person

        • dalethorn says:

          If you’re in this for the long haul (is there another choice?), then I think you’ll see us moving that direction. But a word of warning: Going up against the banksters and insurance giants will be tougher and possibly more dangerous than fighting a world war. Several people can be killed for a million dollars. Think about how many can be killed for a trillion dollars. Or 20 trillion.

          Like

      • kathyca says:

        This really sums it up. I honestly don’t know what kind of delusions these “advice offerers” are suffering from. lol

        Like

    • Thomas says:

      Anybody that finds anything he said as negative is just a pathetic miserable person… I hope you never experience addiction in your life and I doubt you have with that ignorant comment..

      Like

  3. NHVoter says:

    I love seeing Chris Christie at the White House. I would love to see more of him there.

    Liked by 7 people

  4. John Galt says:

    Sex trafficking, illegal aliens and now drugs. Trump is basically declaring war on Democrats.

    http://www.newsmax.com/InsideCover/Liberals-Drug-use/2008/06/16/id/324135/

    Liked by 11 people

    • Patriot1783 says:

      Showing the world what democrats care about most: the vulnerable, illegals, dumbed down or helpless = the ones that can be controlled.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jimmy Jack says:

      They’re all tied together as I’m sure most of you know. The cartels are running all three – drugs, illegals, and sex trafficking victims. Cutting down on one will cut down on the others.

      There’s a pretty good documentary about this on ID Discovery from last week – you can get it online – about human trafficking and how it is all around us. It is pretty eye opening.

      Like

  5. freddiel says:

    Wow! What powerful testimonies from those 3 participants. I did not know that NJ had a program for addicts. It will be amazing if this can happen nationally.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Zeej says:

    Fake money fake markets fake news false flags fake leaders

    People in debt to their eyeballs no viable economic future asset prices of all types, house, stocks, bonds at all time highs relative to disposable income and completely disconnected from any sort of reality due to the social engineers of the federal reserve.

    What else would you expect than an epidemic of people trying to escape a world built on lies, decker and manipulation?

    We will never fix the problems without a deeper examination and discussion of why they exist. We need radical reformation for our lost civilization to find its way. Pray for humanity. Pray for Trump. Pray we restore individualism and liberty and rid ourselves of neofascist collectivism and social engineering by elites.

    Liked by 5 people

    • woohoowee says:

      Old fashioned families would go a long way to fixing this mess. That, and people have to grow up. Their parent(s) have to let them grow up. Stop buying everything for your grown kids so they learn the value of working and earning. None of this is hard to figure out.

      Liked by 4 people

      • The end of “welfare” and the restoration of personal responsibility should be front and center. Healthcare, instead of sick care should be as well. Rather than pump people full of lortabs and morphine sulfate, treat the problem!!! At this point most can’t either afford to have surgery for these problems, or afraid it will end like it does for so many which is ever worse.

        The best doctors I know have folded up practice and retired.

        Liked by 3 people

    • woohoowee says:

      C.S. Lewis said it so well:

      The operation of The Green Book and its kind is to produce what may be called
      Men without Chests. It is an outrage that they should be commonly spoken of as
      Intellectuals. This gives them the chance to say that he who attacks them attacks
      Intelligence. It is not so. They are not distinguished from other men by any
      unusual skill in finding truth nor any virginal ardour to pursue her. Indeed it
      would be strange if they were: a persevering devotion to truth, a nice sense of
      intellectual honour, cannot be long maintained without the aid of a sentiment
      which Gaius and Titius could debunk as easily as any other. It is not excess of
      thought but defect of fertile and generous emotion that marks them out. Their
      heads are no bigger than the ordinary: it is the atrophy of the chest beneath that
      makes them seem so.

      And all the time — such is the tragi-comedy of our situation — we continue to
      clamour for those very qualities we are rendering impossible. You can hardly open
      a periodical without coming across the statement that what our civilization needs
      is more ‘drive’, or dynamism, or self-sacrifice, or ‘creativity’. In a sort of ghastly
      simpUcity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without
      chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are
      shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.

      https://archive.org/stream/TheAbolitionOfMan_229/C.s.Lewis-TheAbolitionOfMan_djvu.txt

      Liked by 3 people

    • Figured I might get railed on for my comment a few above this one, and found yours after making it. So, at least one here will agree with me. So much going on, but those of us who ELECTED President Trump seem to be left out in the cold as we address all the world issues, drug addictions, etc. etc. etc.

      Tax cuts? NO. Kill the fed and with it goes the extortion revenue service. Small government can make it on ALL THE OTHER taxation as it is supposed to. Tax the borders, tax the imports, and as it is meant for, TAX THE POLITICAL PUPPETS and anyone else making their property through federal privilege.

      FIX THIS NOW, or American will never be completely great… Again.

      Like

      • dalethorn says:

        As noted above, the enemy is the ages-old enemy of God’s people, who see us as so much cattle to enslave for their nefarious purposes. You’re not going to go up against the biggest of the big money without getting pushback on the scale of a world war. Better be prepared for Armageddon.

        Like

      • Zeej says:

        Yes this is how I have been feeling. I love trump but the chest beating over having Wall Street and Silicon Valley – buffet bezos gates etc- take on a few more trillion while trump has done nothing aligned with the last Ad ran about standing up to the power structure has really got me worried.

        I trust he has a plan and is playing the long game but also fear and feel he could fall into their trap. Change must be made and enemies within exposed sooner than later imo.

        If only ppl realized they don’t get made rich or made great by the numbers on a computer screen changing… I pray we escape our Pavlovian nemesis and find balance between capital and labor in our socioeconomic system.

        Like

    • Bob Kalle says:

      As you say pray, we need to bring God back, and anyone that disagrees may be evil?

      Like

  7. litlbit2 says:

    Amazing a little over 30 thirty minutes. Just the facts folks, let’s get to work! The actions of a caring President pulling people together making America great again!

    In comparison the dnc’s got Chuckie, Pelosi, Soros, Very Fake News and a bunch of hate speech sign carriers that should be suing Soros for higher wages! The not normal folks. I forgot the fake Russians.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. starfcker says:

    Nice to see Chris Christie at the table

    Liked by 5 people

  9. Lulu says:

    How can people not love this man?

    Liked by 4 people

  10. beaujest says:

    What a great leader !

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I know it probably cannot be talked about at the round table, but the aspect that needs to be added , IMHO, is the spiritual part. I have worked with addicts and we found that working and dealing with all three areas of the person we got good results, physical, psycological, and emotional (spiritual).

    Liked by 7 people

    • Zeej says:

      Absolutely. Emphasis on spiritual and physical health goes a long way to treating addiction. It’s initiating that emphasis that is difficult when people are trapped in feedback loops.

      Also we have got to resist the idea that big pharma drugs are any sort of solution and that weed is some ‘gateway drug’. That is an absolutely absurd notion and more trump admin goes down that path sadly the more he will turn off many many gen z voters, millineals and libertarians who support him. In fact there are numerous tests that have proven some of the best results fighting addiction come from psychedelic drugs – they are often very spiritual for people.

      When it comes to opoid abuse it almost always starts as something coming from the pharmacy and often it’s anti anxiety meds. Alcohol has a very high correlation with abuse of opioids and the fact we glorify its use the way we do is sad.

      Liked by 2 people

      • dalethorn says:

        Been there, done that. No psycho-active drugs, please, unless very closely supervised.

        Like

      • Jimmy Jack says:

        I have never met a person on drugs who did not smoke pot first. Never.

        I’m not saying all people who smoke pot become addicts but I think every addict barring a random one off, starts by smoking pot.

        Like

  12. wondering999 says:

    I’ve been reading a nursing textbook and just completed a chapter on pain management. Interesting stuff; what brings endorphins (chemicals that make you feel good — exercise is one way to get those good feelings) and what causes depression/pain (boredom/monotony among other things).

    I think our President’s initiatives for industrial training will help resolve some of the pain of boredom and monotony. His example of being drug- and alcohol-free himself is excellent and I’m particularly grateful for that. People should feel free to be abstinent from activities/chemicals that cause damage.

    Good work Mr. President. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jimmy Jack says:

      I may have to check out one of those books. I think there is a connection between having a skill, staying active to stave off boredom and substance abuse. I do always come back to idle hands are the devil’s playground. No good has ever come out of me with too much time on my hands and not enough to do.

      Liked by 1 person

      • wondering999 says:

        Boredom is painful, literally. The Good Life includes enough necessities — but also games to play — and not just sports! Any project or pursuit can be fun if it’s interesting

        Like

  13. Athena the Warrior says:

    Lest anyone think that Tim Ryan is a rising Democrat star he’s not. He’s just a rising all talk no action politician. Here he is on Tucker blaming President Trump for not doing enough, saying that more commissions weren’t needed. (He just wants the money surprise, surprise) Guy has been in office for seven years, his district among the worst, but he attacks POTUS:

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ever consider the idiotic standard of calling any politician or talking blathering head for that matter a “star”, “icon”, or any other celebritard label like it as a part of the problem?

      When did we begin this “worship” of traitorous, lying humans???

      Ooops. My bad, in the beginning. That’s right. The human condition is bad… very bad.

      Like

      • dalethorn says:

        God gave us free will – an extremely important gift. The freedom our founding fathers believed in was not the license to do anything you wish, but rather, the freedom to do the right thing. When you and I go around reminding people of that, it makes the world a better place.

        Like

  14. Patriot1783 says:

    Mariano!!!
    Loved watching him shut the teams down….”the Sandman”

    Liked by 2 people

  15. DeplorableDoug says:

    Always nice to see Mariano at the white house representing decency and excellence. Wonder if Donald is a Yankee friend after years of friendship with the late Mr. Steinbrenner.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. NJF says:

    His empathy is so heartening. Charles Payne gave quite the recount tonight about how drug abuse had effected his life, even out of the hood.

    Many, many people have been harmed and I’m glad they are going after these criminals.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. redsequin4 says:

    I have to disagree on this one. Yes there is over prescribing of pain medication, there always has been. Now it’s opioids, in the past it may have been barbiturates for sleep or diet pills.

    I’m in the health care field and have witnessed first hand the suffering of chronic pain patients. I think there should be a clear distinction made between people who abuse drugs and those who need pain meds to achieve some quality of life. It’s already very difficult for people with chronic pain to obtain a prescription for pain medication. For example, Vicodin or Lortab, which are both hydrocodone with Tylenol, was recently upgraded to a schedule II drug. It used to be a schedule III. The difference is you can get refills on schedule III but not on schedule II. So chronic pain patients, who take Vicodin, must obtain a new prescription from their doctors every month, no refills allowed. I think that’s tough enough.

    Stopping the heroin flow on the border I’m on board with for sure but lumping drug abusers into the same pot as chronic pain patients is wrong and does a terrible disservice to chronic pain sufferers, many of whom are veterans.

    Liked by 7 people

    • Sam says:

      I could not agree more with what you say. Chronic pain patients should not be forced to suffer in unrelieved agony because doctors are afraid of losing their licence for prescribing needed medication. Patients who have diseases that will be fatal sooner or later should not be forced to suffer.

      I am one of those patients with a fatal illness and other illnesses and conditions which are painful. I don’t take much pain medication but I do take some. And no, acetaminophen does not relieve my pain. Taking Tylenol is like taking a sugar pill for me. I have tried physical therapy and been injured by it. Aerobic therapy is impossible due to my heart and lung disease. No, I didn’t smoke. My disease was caused by having a bad gene. It could happen to anyone.

      I don’t like to hear politicians talk about legal prescriptions leading to heroin/fentanyl use. They don’t necessarily do that. I hope this War on Opioid s does not become a war on patients with chronic pain. But it’s looking like it will.

      Liked by 7 people

      • redsequin4 says:

        So sorry to hear you’re suffering with chronic pain and a fatal illness, my goodness. I was addressing my remarks to people in your position who have to rely on pain medication to have any semblance of a normal life. Most Americans have no idea how hard it is in most cases for chronic pain patients to even get medication prescribed for them. Drs. are running scared and Carlson’s remarks tonight about threatening Drs. with jail really upset me. Does he have any idea how many people who are out there like yourself who would have no quality of life without these medications? I think the idea that people are automatically jumping from fentanyl patches to heroin or Percocet to heroin is way over blowing the situation.

        As you said, we can hope this doesn’t turn into a war on chronic pain patients but sadly the situation is already bad for them and this will only make it worse. I hope you’re able to get the relief you need. All the best to you!

        Liked by 4 people

        • david7134 says:

          Carlson was an academic. Most think that is a really smart person, but it is the exact opposite. Many never have to follow patients and care for them. Carlson would have operated and likely never seen the patient before or after.

          Liked by 1 person

          • redsequin4 says:

            He’s not informed on the issue and so he makes sweeping statements which frankly I thought were irresponsible. Does he even know how people suffer with chronic pain? I think of our vets who’ve suffered catastrophic injuries. Many would not be able to function without pain meds.

            Liked by 1 person

      • BT in SC says:

        Thank you, Sam. I am one of those patients, as well. Aleve put me in the hospital with an ulcer. I cannot take it. Ever again. But the ulcer isn’t the problem. RSD is the problem. A botched surgery a little over a year ago, has afflicted me with a disease I never even knew existed. RSD is called “the suicide disease.” Why? Because the PAIN it causes is like NO other. There is a pain scale called “the McGill pain scale.” Child birthing, with no anesthetic rates at about a 20 – 23 on the McGill pain scale. RSD is rated at about a 43 – there is NO pain rated any higher. It is unimaginable pain that makes one scream in agony and brings you to your knees. And, the pain is almost constant. It does not go away. Percocet and OxyContin don’t touch it, insofar as relief. I suspect Aleve would be totally useless, but since I can’t take it anymore… I have never tried heroin, and do not intend to. I am incredibly grateful that I have a doctor, a specialist, who understands that my pain is almost unbearable and would be intolerable but for methadone. I never even knew it was prescribed for chronic, unmanageable pain, until it was prescribed for me. Only after trying all the others – Percocet, OxyContin, gabepentin, Lyrica, nucentya [sp?]… However, all of these drug issues with overdoses, etc., just make each doctors visit more difficult for me. There are some of us who are not drug addicts, and without opioids that offer some relief – and it isn’t much relief, believe me – we wouldn’t be here to comment. I get so angry about this issue. Truly, I find it hard to believe that being prescribed a drug due to an accident or injury turns so many into addicts. I do not understand the euphoria that must be felt – I know I’ve never experienced any euphoria – NONE [and, there are days when I only wish that whatever it is that these people “felt,” I could feel!!] – that then turns them into heroin addicts when they can’t get a prescription filled. Every month I have to be drug tested, and it’s humiliating. I get tested to make sure I’m not taking any other drugs [illegal drugs], and tested to see sure I have a certain level of my drug in me [that I’m not selling my prescription, I guess]. Yep. I see this as getting worse for those of us truly in need of pain relief through no doing of our own, and it isn’t going to be pretty!

        Liked by 3 people

    • dalethorn says:

      My youngest sister was a long-time addict to pain killers, and she no doubt had real needs having had back surgery. She finally died at age 60, after decades of suffering. She suffered so much because she was poor and abandoned by her husband with 4 kids, and didn’t have access in her small town to a program that could help her. I think the people here have a good grasp of that.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Jimmy Jack says:

      Thank you for saying this. You are right and it is terrible for those of us with medical conditions who legitimately need meds but are treated like addicts when we try to get them. It’s insulting and stressful.

      Liked by 2 people

    • david7134 says:

      As a doctor, I am seeing a situation in which patients can not get the drugs they need due to over regulation. If you travel to other countries, you get the sense that the US is the only place that can’t handle drugs, as many places do not have near the regulations that we do. My research has shown that addiction is a myth. Sure heavy users can have some physical addiction need after prolonged use, but most people dont. The people who abuse the drugs are mentally ill, not addicted. My solution is complete deregulation and a large number of doctors feel the same. This would greatly reduce medical cost.

      Liked by 1 person

      • redsequin4 says:

        I’m sure you’ve experienced first hand how hard they’re making it for doctors to prescribe pain medication. Docs feel threatened so they many not prescribe pain medication to someone who really needs it for fear of losing their license. That’s a real tragedy. People who are dependant on pain medication are not addicts but many are labeled that way. They may be dependant on the medication but they follow the rules and only take what is prescribed for them to control their pain.

        I just hope the feds don’t slap new regulations on an already very regulated industry.

        Like

  18. b4im2old says:

    …an interesting post to add here…and another good step in the right direction just today!
    http://ktla.com/2017/03/29/mexican-state-attorney-general-arrested-at-u-s-border-in-san-diego-on-drug-trafficking-charges/

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Best is to stop them before they start and drug education is best.
    I can highly recommend http://www.drugfreeworld.org.

    Like

    • Aqua says:

      Sorry, but DrugFreeWorld is Scientology, and they are NOT an acceptable way to help someone get off drugs. They are a dangerous cult, and they mask their involvement through the use of front groups and a series of fake rehab treatment centers. Check Tony Ortega’s website or Narconon Reviews. This is very well documented.

      Liked by 2 people

  20. 3x1 says:

    Couple dynamics at play here.

    Take WV. Very very hard hit.

    Sequence:

    EPA jacks rules up. Mines close.

    People go from good jobs to nothing.

    People get hurt doing normal stuff. Docs start heavily overprescribing pain meds, lobbied for and pushed MASSIVELY by Sackler pharma. This is 15-20 yrs ago. Purdue Pharma reps pulling down 6 figure bonuses for pushing Oxycontin.

    Connections: https://addictionunscripted.com/kingpinsoxycontin-heroin-and-the-sackler-sinaloa-connection/

    Patients, now addicted, can’t afford pills. Start robbing everyone. Friends. Family. Everyone.

    Cheaper alternative appears (almost as if on cue). Heroin. AFG Opium production reaches all time highs. All. Time. Highs. Thanks CIA. Mex cartels increase cultivation and production. Transport into USA increases. “Wall? What do we need a wall for?” Thanks CIA, Democrats, McCain…

    Entire generations being wiped out in small WV coal towns. Drug-induced genocide. Especially killing those in prime breeding age range. What a perfect opportunity to resettle with poor starving refugees, who curiously resemble 18-30 year old healthy male moslems. Thanks Catholic charities. Thanks Soros. Thanks Obama.

    In the space of two decades an indigenous population is essentially wiped out, and a NEW population resettled in by a loving, caring CIA.

    Rinse & repeat across thousands of counties.

    Presto! New country without firing a shot.

    Liked by 4 people

    • 3x1 says:

      Oh yes, late to the game, China starts flowing in Carfentanyl (morphine for elephants) in quantities far exceeding the amount required to anaesthetitize every pachyderm on the planet.

      https://addictionunscripted.com/kingpinsoxycontin-heroin-and-the-sackler-sinaloa-connection/

      Synthetic and cheap, used to cut heroin. Super powerful so shipments are small and are superconcealable.

      Deaths skyrocket as dealers cut in 10000x more powerful drug with heroin.

      Junkies seek out “killer” heroin in search of better high.

      http://wmky.org/post/lethal-opiates-delivered-mail-china-killing-addicts-us

      China begins wiping out youth and young adults of fighting age without firing a shot.

      None of this is accidental. Hole in the wall pharmacies were receiving millions of doses of Oxycontin per year, but not reporting unusual demand to state pharma board. State pharma board sleepy, incompetent and/or paid to look the other way. We’re talking towns with MAYBE a few hundred residents receiving 5-6-7 million doses of Oxycontin per year. Where are WV Reps & Senators? Lining their pockets from pharmaceutical PACs while their constituents fill morgues. Thanks DC. Business as usual.

      Liked by 3 people

    • 3x1 says:

      Link fix for Carfentanyl

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carfentanil

      Want to read some good local journalism? Read this account from the affected area:

      http://www.wvgazettemail.com/news-health/20161217/drug-firms-poured-780m-painkillers-into-wv-amid-rise-of-overdoses

      THAT is journalism. Not the cr@p AP sanitizes and peddles.

      Not excusing junkies, but a lot of people lined up everything to make a killing off their long, painful deaths. Bad medicine.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Jimmy Jack says:

        This whole phenomenon is amazing.

        Like

      • TheLastDemocrat says:

        Regarding the over-prescription issue: there are existing data systems that show any and all of this. No one, generally, has been bothering to examine these data – except for the occasional pill mill story.

        In my past, I worked in retail. Considering that we sold clothing with a choice of color, and each color of a garment had its own SKU, we had hundreds of SKUs. Yet at the storefront level, and back at “corporate,” we looked over EACH AND EVERY SKU’s sales trend WEEKLY to figure out what was hot and what was not. We did this to tailor inventory across stores, and not get caught with too much slow-moving merchandise.

        There are 300,000 “SKUs” for prescription drugs. These are in a list called the “national drug class” /”NDC” list. A bottle of 30 pills of one drug, one dose has a different SKU than a bottle of 60 of the same drug, same dose. A bottle of 30 at 10mg has a different SKU than a bottle of 30 at 20mg. Generic diff number from branded, each brand its own SKUs, etc.

        For the Rx opiates, there are 1,000 SKUs. Only 1,000. Folks, ANY organized sales/distribution of these Rx drugs can EASILY be scanned to see what is being bought, prescribed, sold ANYWHERE across the entire legal Rx system. Easy. As I noted: I scanned my store’s sales of well over 500 SKUs weekly – it is not really that difficult. Looking back on it all, this was all on paper (that old wide dot-matrix paper). On computer, it is even easier now.

        Why is nothing being done? Look at who is making money: pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, pharmacies, physicians, and the politicians they support.

        If Trump starts an initiative to examine out-of-range legal prescribing patterns, he is butting up against yet another part of the politico-economy worth trillions.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jimmy Jack says:

        And now it seems Pakistan has bypassed Afghanistan as a producer. Look into the Awan ring and shipments disguised as bathmats rice or mangos.

        Brennan is an evil, evil man.

        Like

    • wasntme says:

      It has hit Colorado hard was well. One stupid decision and you’re hooked for life and they know it. Most people are not aware of what is happening until it is too late. I wasn’t aware how bad it is until a kid in town OD’d.

      Like

  21. Marc says:

    I wish Gov. Christie would stop slighting pro-lifers when he brings up people addicted to drugs. It’s not an equal argument. An unborn baby has no choice of whether it lives or dies or makes bad decisions and abuses drugs but an adult does. Comments like that don’t help his cause and are just his way of virtue signalling to the left.

    Like

  22. Kaco says:

    I have suspected for the past few months (after basically being red-pilled this past summer) that the Heroin epidemic is a CIA/globalist plot at depopulation and keeping us drugged and stupid. The areas hit by this are mostly poor, white, small towns. The move from prescription pain killers to Heroin makes more sense as well.

    Like

  23. Buck Turgidson says:

    There of course are many tragic problems associated with heroin and overdosing — no denying that. But at the other end of the scale, a lot of people have a wide range of pain management needs. “Opioids” covers a lot of ground and it’s an oversimplification to lump a 5 mg hydrocodone into the same class as methodone, fenatryl (do I have the names wrong sorry I’m not a pharmacist), and heroin. I agree w the MD who wrote in here — the problem is not these drugs in themselves, it is mentally ill people who are abusing them. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater or use a thermonuclear bomb to address this problem. It reminds me of prohibition, we no longer lump together a guy who has a glass of wine with his dinner, with alchoholics drinking a bottle of vodka every day–but we did in Prohibition. Opioids provide pain relief when used responsibly for millions of people and as the MD said above, most do not have physical addiction even after prolonged use. Is it better to use Tylenol or NSAIDs, all proven to cause liver damage and that don’t do much for most people’s pain? My heart goes out for those who have lost loved ones; at the same time, let’s not allow extreme examples at one end of the spectrum be used to guide national policy. I would favor deregulation, which would drive prices down and take out the black market and all that, and a modest campaign regarding responsible use. Look at alcohol and even smoking. Those are freely available but we all know the difference between a social drinker who might light one up on occasion, and a heavy drinker who burns a pack a day.

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