Steve Marshall praises Donald Trump’s opioid abuse initiative

Steve Marshall

President Donald Trump on Monday announced a new initiative to stop opioid abuse and to reduce the drugs supply and demand.

The president’s list of requirements for this initiative include:

  • Reduce the over-prescription of opioids which has the potential to lead Americans down a path to addiction or facilitate diversion to illicit use.
  • Cut off the flow of illicit drugs across our borders and within communities.
  • Save lives now by expanding opportunities for proven treatments for opioid and other drug addictions.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall praised Trump’s initiative in a statement on Tuesday:

I want to thank President Trump for his dedication to fight the terrible blight of opioid abuse in America.  Opioid abuse is an epidemic that ignores cultural and political boundaries; it affects all of us—and thus demands a response that includes all of us.

While I am still reviewing the specifics of President Trump’s initiative, I am heartened to see that his outline includes many of the recommendations of Alabama’s Opioid Overdose and Addiction Council; recommendations such as improved prescription monitoring, increased access to treatment and recovery support for persons suffering from opioid addiction, and legislation targeting low-dosage, super-lethal drugs like fentanyl.

My hope is that, in the coming months, President Trump and Attorney General Sessions will work side-by-side with state and local officials to turn these ideas into reality. Together, we can conquer what the President has rightly called the ‘Crisis Next Door.’

In August of 2017, Gov. Kay Ivey named Marshall co-chair of the Alabama Opioid Overdose and Addiction Council. Ivey established this council to “develop and submit a strategic action plan to the Governor by December 31, 2017, which establishes recommendations for policy, regulatory and legislative actions to address the overdose crisis in Alabama. A request that was fulfilled by the council.

Alabama’s plan includes four actions:

  • Prevention
  • Intervention
  • Treatment
  • Community Response

Since 2016, Alabama has remained at the top of the list of states in the nation with an extremely high amount of opioid prescriptions.

In fact, Alabamians receive more prescription opioids per person than residents of any other state in the country, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — equating to a rate of 1.2 prescriptions per person. By comparison, the national per capita use was 0.71 in 2015.