Why Trump’s drug addiction task force should freak you out

Why Trump’s drug addiction task force should freak you out


Why Trump�s drug addiction task force should
freak you out This post originally appeared on The Fresh
Toast. Fresh Toast The American opiate crisis continues to spiral
out of control with no end in sight. And the numbers stagger the mind. More than half a million Americans died of
drug overdoses from 2000 to 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Each day, 91 people in this country will die
from an opioid overdose � more than 33,00o a year. And although the opioid addiction epidemic
is global in scale, it is uniquely dire in the United States. We account for 4.4 percent of the global population,
and yet we gobble up about 80 percent of the worldwide opioids supply. Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental
death in the U.S. and opioid addiction is driving this epidemic. In 2015, more than 20,000 overdose deaths
were reported related to prescription pain relievers, with another 13,ooo overdose deaths
related to heroin. About 80 percent of new heroin users started
out misusing prescription painkillers. To put the data in perspective, opioid deaths
now surpass the peak in death by car crash in 1972, AIDS deaths in 1995 and gun deaths
in 1993. To battle this deadly crisis, President Donald
Trump in March created the President�s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid
Epidemic, an advisory committee designed �to review the state of drug addiction and the
opioid epidemic and make recommendations regarding how the Federal Government can best address
this crisis.� On Friday, the task force will hold its first
meeting at the White House, to be livestreamed beginning at 12:30 p.m. EST. Almost immediately after announcing the committee,
Trump selected New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to lead it. Clearly, solving America�s opioid epidemic
will take bipartisan cooperation. This is simply not an issue in which there
is much disagreement. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) welcomed the
news of the task force. �Drug overdose deaths, the majority of which
are from heroin and prescription opioids, are a national crisis,� McCaskill said in
a written statement. �We�ll need the help of Governor Christie,
President Trump, and others at all levels of government, from any party affiliation,
if we�re going to make progress and save lives.� But many health professionals and cannabis
advocates are wary of Trump�s task force. Nearly all the members selected to the committee
have spoken out against marijuana legalization � which runs counter to the overwhelming
majority of the American people. Christie, an ardent longtime opponent of cannabis
regulation, will lead these members: Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, former
U.S. Representative Patrick Kennedy, Dr. Bertha Madras of Harvard Medical School and North
Carolina Governor Roy Cooper. All but Cooper have a record of conflating
cannabis consumption with opioid addiction. When you add the fact that Attorney General
Jeff Sessions clearly wants to put the brakes on cannabis reform, you can understand the
trepidation of marijuana advocates. �Governor Christie has zero percent credibility
on drug policy,� Eric Altieri, the executive director of NORML, told Forbes last month. �When it comes to cannabis� relationship
to opioids from real-world experience, not bluster and rhetoric, states that have medicinal
and recreational cannabis laws on the books see lower rates of overdose, lower rates of
use, and lower rates of opioids being prescribed to patients,� Altieri added. In Forbes� story titled �Chris Christie
Is The Last GOPer Who Should Be Leading Our Opioid Fight,� Altieri slammed the N.J.
governor and unsuccessful presidential candidate as a suitable task force chairman: Christie has spent much of his time as governor
(and, as it happens, much of the opioid crisis) fighting the rising tide of calls for cannabis
reform in his state. Last week, as part of opioid-themed comments,
Christie even called the ever more crucial and commonplace drive to bring regulated adult
and medical cannabis use to New Jersey �total stupidity� and �baloney,� and described
any tax revenues from the industry as �blood money. � In response, NORML released an open letter
to the governor days later, explaining in simple terms how scientific and social research
have repeatedly shown that cannabis offers quite the opposite of �baloney� in the
face of opioid addiction. Citing years of evidence-based conclusions,
the letter pointed out, �It makes no sense from a public health perspective, a fiscal
perspective, or a moral perspective to perpetuate the prosecution and stigmatization of those
adults who choose to responsibly consume a substance that is safer than either alcohol
or tobacco.� According to a 2106 survey published in The
Journal of Pain, patients suffering from chronic pain report a 64 percent decrease in opioid
use. They also experience fewer negative side effects
and say their quality of life is better than what they experienced under opioids. A 2o14 study published in JAMA The Journal
of the American Medical Association, revealed that opioid overdose deaths were roughly 25
percent lower in states that allowed medical cannabis compared with those that did not. Even the the National Institute on Drug Abuse
disagrees with Christie. According to NIDA: Some preliminary studies have suggested that
medical marijuana legalization might be associated with decreased prescription opioid use and
overdose deaths. � Additionally, data suggests that medical
marijuana treatment may reduce the opioid dose prescribed for pain patients, and a recent
study showed that availability of medical marijuana for Medicare patients reduced prescribing
of medications, including opioids, for their pain. The Christie-led task force meets just days
after a firestorm over Sessions� desire to crack down on states that have medical
marijuana programs in place � defying 94 percent of the American public. Sessions, who oversees the DEA, continues
to mistakenly conflate the opioid crisis with marijuana consumption. The members selected to the opioid crisis
task force appear to share the views of Christie and Sessions. Here is a brief rundown of each member: N.J. Gov. Chris Christie
As noted above, Christie is one of the nation�s leading voices in the anti-legalization movement. Last month, he had this to say about legalization:
�We are in the midst of the public health crisis on opiates. But people are saying pot�s OK. This is nothing more than crazy liberals who
want to say everything�s OK.� Clearly, his comments run counter to the scientific
evidence. Former R.I. Congressman Patrick Kennedy
Kennedy, a liberal Democrat who has publicly admitted to his past addiction to opioids,
benzodiazepines, alcohol, stimulants and cocaine, is affiliated with Project Sam, an anti-cannabis
organization. He crisscrosses the country and appears routinely
on cable news programs vilifying cannabis legalization. Earlier this year, Kennedy was interviewed
by Yahoo News and made the audacious claim that the medicinal use of marijuana was �a
Trojan horse designed to addict people.� Kennedy says that Project Sam�s main focus
is �educating the public about the harms of marijuana legalization.� According to Kennedy, �marijuana destroys
the brain and expedites psychosis. It�s just overall a very dangerous drug. In terms of neurobiology, there�s no distinction
between the quality and types of drugs that people get addicted to. That�s why they call it a gateway drug. Addiction is addiction is addiction.� Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker
Baker, a Republican, has supported medical marijuana but was a fought vigorously against
recreational legalization in Massachusetts in last year�s election. NORML gives the governor an F grade for cannabis
policy. During the 2016 campaign for legalization,
Baker, a former health insurance executive, said �I�m going to oppose that and I�m
going to oppose that vigorously � with a lot of help from a lot of other people in
the addiction community.� He has also believes marijuana use is a �significant first step�
toward addiction to other drugs. The �gateway theory� has been debunked
over and over again. There is no science to support his claim. Last year, he wrote an opinion piece in the
Boston Globe headlined �Mass. should not legalize marijuana� in which he conflated
cannabis use to opioid addiction. Bertha Madras, Harvard Medical School Researcher
Madras is the former Deputy Director of Demand Reduction for the ONDCP and is the one non-politician
on the task force. She authored a story in the Washington Post
headlined �5 Reasons Why Marijuana is Not Medicine� and has fought against rescheduling
marijuana. She has called marijuana legalization �tragic
for our country� N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, a Democrat, defeated incumbent Pat McCrory last November. McCrory was an ardent opponent of marijuana
legalization. Cooper, so far, has been mum about his position
on cannabis.

8 comments

  1. To all those who abuse painkillers, this is ALL YOUR FAULT! There are people out there that have to live with chronic pain DAILY! whether its cancer, back pain, stuff that cant be fixed, but you have to live with! i am one of those chronic pain people and if i couldnt get medical care and meds, i would go crazy! i couldnt live a halfway normal life! thanks for screwing this up for the REAL PEOPLE IN PAIN!!

  2. If they all die then there will be no need to send troops to the poppy fields in Afghanistan now would there. Funny shit. Seem no one wants to go to the ROOT of the problem in the fields of DREAMS in the wonderful world of Afghanistan and the poppy fields. You got to love it, same ole shit just another day.

  3. While they are busy saving lives of drug addicts that don't want help ..how about the lives that end due to uncontrolled pain causing suicide. I read a few months ago that the suicide rate among pain patients is drastically on the rise due to the government causing doctors to be afraid to help chronic pain patients. I can completely understand wanting to commit suicide to end chronic pain that's ruining any quality of life. This isn't about saving addicts lives. It's about locking up more addicts for money every time someone goes to jail instead of trying to honestly help addicts that want it. The ones that don't want help can't be helped and it's so wrong to force true pain patients to suffer.They have another goal in this. That's population control.The government knows good and well the suicide rate among pain patients will rise more and more and the prison money will rise from the addicts.Its all about money and population control.

  4. Canibus is NOT the overwhelmingly WILL of the people!!! This is an anti-Trump news channel!! It's a mind control station! UN SUBBING

  5. the cabal plan this shit for centuries. and the last administration set up the USA as the next drug country, even bought in their own suppliers, sad. so be thankful for Mr Trumps interest in making USA great again. i am

  6. What they aren't telling you is that it is NOT Legal Pain Meds, their numbers are being lumped into the Heroine Deaths! Me and many millions are suffering b/c they are demanding Drs. reduce Meds by 1/2 and its caused me to now be bedridden ever since, I have NO LIFE. I cant go to funerals, nor any family functions now and the nights are very long when you are in so much pain, I go only to the Dr. once per month, never able to leave the house for any other reason now, its like being in prison. THEY MUST MAKE PAIN MEDS AVAILABLE AGAIN TO ALL WHO REALLY SUFFER AND STOP REFUSING TO FILL THEM AT THE PHARMACY!

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