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ASHINGTON — An executive order being prepared by the Trump administration would set an ambitious timetable for new recommendations to address the nation’s opioid crisis and appoint top administration officials to oversee the effort, according to a draft obtained by STAT.

The administration is expected to unveil a commission focused on the nation’s opioid epidemic soon. The panel would be composed of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, and Defense Secretary James Mattis, according to the draft order. Another five members from state governments, law enforcement, and other groups would fill it out.

The Washington Post reported this week that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie would chair the commission.

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The draft order could be changed before it is officially issued. The White House declined to comment.

The panel’s mission would be to identify federal funding streams that could be directed to address the crisis, for everything from medical treatments to long-term support services. The commission would also aim to identify areas in the United States with limited treatment options, review ways to prevent opioid addiction — including possible changes to prescribing practices — and consider changes to the criminal justice system to provide support for incarcerated individuals after their release from prison.

The Office for National Drug Control Policy would support the commission, according to the draft order, and the office’s director — commonly known as the nation’s “drug czar” — would represent the president. The White House has interviewed candidates for the ONDCP post, but not yet appointed a director.

The commission would make interim recommendations within three months of its establishment along with a final report in October, according to the draft order. The agencies involved in its efforts would be expected to quickly take administrative and regulatory actions implementing those policies.

The opioid crisis is now killing more than 30,000 Americans annually, and Trump swore during the campaign to end it. The commission would be a high-profile public step to fulfill that promise.

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However, some advocates within the recovery community are already frustrated that Trump has not yet filled key posts, like ONDCP director, and that his other policy proposals clash with his stated goals. A new spending plan reported Tuesday would cut the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s mental health block grant by $100 million this year. Trump’s proposed 2018 budget for HHS would have cut the agency’s funding by nearly 20 percent.

The Republican health care bill that failed last week, and which Trump lobbied for, would also have rolled back requirements for Medicaid coverage of addiction treatment and dramatically overhauled that program, the single largest provider of mental health and addiction coverage in the country.

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  • Prohibitionists want to “study” this forever because the solution is to end prohibition, and that’s not an option. Donald Trump’s pick for V.P. was a prohibitionist corporate gangster* from Indiana who supported the P.A.T.R.I.O.T. act. Then he installs an ultrafascist attorney general from Alabama who quit the Klan BECAUSE THEY SMOKED POT. Now he taps the biggest mafioso in the history of New Jersey politics to head a drug policy committee. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

    I voted for Trump because the Clintons are killers, but my optimism is waning fast: How can you drain the swamp when you put a bunch of corrupt old establishment toads in charge of the operation? After collecting a century’s worth of statistics, everyone knows that prohibition made all crime and drug problems worse. What part of this does THE APPRENTICE not understand? Or is he just PRETENDING to not understand?

    The drug war is ROCKET FUEL for corruption… and this land is full of false-righteous posers who pretend not to know that. These people are not the MAJORITY but they are the ones in CONTROL. As Nietzsche wrote: “State is the name of the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly it lies; and this lie slips from its mouth: I, the state, am the people.” Indeed. Only 9 percent of Americans voted for Clinton or Trump in the primaries. The rest of us were forced to choose between the lesser of two evils… and evil is just what we got:

    There are MANY crooks and bigots who do NOT want to see crime & addiction reduced if this can only be done by repealing prohibition. These are the people that Trump is filling his cabinet with. Every day, it’s getting harder to believe that Don is sincere about making America great. Does he really not know that prohibition has corrupted every branch of government here? Does he really not grasp that the war on drugs can never be won because the black market profits are irresistible to public officials? Does he really not know that the CIA and the pentagon are responsible for 90% of the global heroin trade, and that’s why they have a thousand bases all over the world? When roughly a trillion dollars in taxpayer funding disappears without a trace EVERY YEAR, what makes Trump think that INCREASING their budgets will make it all better? And why is he refusing to meet with CIA whistleblowers who want to clean up the corruption in the secret government?

    For as long as prohibition continues, so will the deep state’s covert monopoly on the drug trade. If you need a committee to tell you that, you are a fool or a fraud. I did not expect the president to drain the swamp in New Jersey — but if he puts Christie in charge of anything more than cleaning the toilets in prison, my trust is gone for good. If Donald is not as dumb as Ronald, he might be just as corrupt as the four wise guys who followed. I’m not even sure if I care which is which anymore: When evil and stupidity have the same outcome, it no longer matters if Trump is a clown or a mobster.

    —> Everything they told you about addiction is wrong:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ao8L-0nSYzg

    * The dirty secret of prohibitionists: it’s not about safety — it’s about protecting the rackets:
    Indiana prohibitionist Mike Pence signs a bill which outlaws home vision test software

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/bluesky/originals/ct-opternative-legislation-online-exams-bsi-20160405-story.html

  • I have been living with chronic pancreatitis and spinal arthritis due to psoratic arthritis. All of which could have been significantly avoided had I been properly diagnosed of my arthritic condition, and given the right treatment. Instead, I was given a very powerful biological medication that triggered the onset of pancreatitis which led it to a chronic condition. They have no problem handing this medication out still despite its dangers. Now I face the stigmas not only from pancreas issues being associated mostly with alcoholism, but now am in need of strong opiates, which carry even more stigmas. All of which makes getting adequate treatment, meaning transplant so much harder. I need to be well enough to help myself to earn the money Medicare will not pay for life saving transplant, which involves my own body, no one elses. Despite the risk for pancreatic cancer, which now has changed protocol for this disease to make it almost mandatory pancreas removal if after one year successful stabilization with medication is not helpful. I have gone way over that one year rule partially because I had it before it was established. Medicare could help if they would only cover the transplant portion of having my islets transplanted to my own liver, but because they wont. I am now waiting to see if my new onset of blood sugar symptoms are in fact pancreatic cancer arising from my chronic pancreatitis. There is so much that needs to change in health care not just accurate treatment of pain, but also new protocols for how long people are denied accurate care of thier symptoms. Letting a patient just go with a watch and wait is not fair, especially when we are learning that chronic pancreatitis is akin to an early onset pancreatic cancer. We cannot afford to wait around with this disease on the rise. We need new protocols for screening like the ones which have proven successful in tests done long ago, where it can be detected in pancreatic juices, to younger ages being tested for it, especially when a family history, or any history of cancer is established in that patients background. We need to train pain doctors with knowledge about pancreatic disease that changes the stigma associated with it. We need to have specialized doctors, not nurse practitioners who only stay at pain clinics for a number of months treating such severe disorders. Also, infusion clinics would free up our ER’s, and help with those being blacklisted by ER doctors who know or dont care nothing about pancreatic disease. It’s seen as a belly ache by those who know nothing about it. They do not understand the pain, and it’s severity and are ignoratley discriminating against patients who are in severe agony because of stigmas toward it that have been passed down. Now finally if criminal prosectution is to be increase toward those who abuse narcotics why not allow prosecution of medical personnel who are blacklisting patients because it’s easier to do this than treat. I have heard this done to a cancer patient at my own pain clinic by the doctors nurse, then they all ganged up on this Stage 4 cancer patient who was only requesting the doctor to call her pharmacy who would not refill her medications a day early even though doctor approved. I heard the nurse tell the pharmacist privileged information, about her, and how they spoke in such disdain, then this nurse went on to inform her doctor of how much she disliked this patient. I am one of the patients who are liked at my clinic..why, because I never complain, or assert my rights..why because I am afraid too. I have left abusive relationships that have not felt as abusive to me as the relationship I have with my pain clinic. Where I have allowed them to do whatever injections they may just to obtain the take home meds, because it hurts that bad. I have only been cut back in medications never having received enough to allow for adequate control of my pain. I gamble on sleep, when I may have food, all because I have one break through dose to choose from per day, and my long acting is not long acting enough, so it’s a real gamble. I try to keep positive hoping I wont be forced to choose between whether or not I end my own life because getting an adequate dose of pain relief is impossible. I have had to leave online groups that deal with pancreas issues because too many have already made that choice, and its just too unbearable to think about or face. I have been so creative learning to get by on vitamins and a liquid diet, but as my disease progresses it only gets worse. I have never actually seen a real pain doctor only NP’s. They make career advances every six months so I get cuts to medications that frequently too, it makes them look good. I just had another new one my last appt. I am so scared for our children’s medical future and ashamed at the political government we live under.

  • Sounds like a bunch of instant experts. Everyone is an expert. The issue and problem with opiates is black market.
    Back in the 1980s when I ran a methadone clinic and an inhouse detox clinic for 75 patients at a time, And after years of work, I never met a drug addict. I met patients with health care issues.
    With extensive interviewing, it was discovered that the mayor, the city council members, the police chief, the senators, the congressmen and even higher up, were the people that were involved with manufacturing, sales and distribution of illegal drugs. These authority figures always said, DRUGS MUST BE ILLEGAL, and the reason is so that they can make big money. And Big money it is, like a million dollars a week, and in some cases a million dollars per day.
    The opiate crisis is a created issue. If all drugs, street, prescription, all, and I mean all, if all drugs were over the counter and for sale, with registered sales agents, the issue and problems that all of these drug dealers are talking about will be gone. Of course these mayors, councilmen, senators, congressmen and more authorities will lose their big money sales, the people with health care issues will not be an issue.
    Again, the issue and problem is BLACK MARKET. The people involved with the manufacturing, Sales and Distribution are our Mayors, Police, Senators, Congressman, and other rich people.
    THese people are making a million a week, and more. Just look around for those people that are making this big money and you will see the drug manufacterers, sales and distributors.

    • > With extensive interviewing, it was discovered that the mayor, the city council members, the police chief, etc. were the people that were involved with manufacturing, sales and distribution of illegal drugs. These authority figures always said DRUGS MUST BE ILLEGAL, and the reason is so they can make big money.
      ______
      Thank you for sharing your experience. Exposing the state as the biggest purveyor of illegal drugs is our society’s greatest taboo. We need every witness to come out of hiding. Who will police the police?

  • I have a severe nerve disease called CRPS which stands for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. It is like having a metal rod in my right leg from my toes to my hip and it’s on fire 24/7. There is no cure for this horrible disease. Please allow money in the FDA budget for more testing and trying to find a cure.

  • You know, I’m so glad the healthcare community of ‘professionals’ are so compassionate as to make sure that those people who actually are criminals and have used illicit drugs to party, are getting the help they deserve by being admitted into rehab. Virtue signalling hypocrites.

    It is because of people, who probably never had an RX to abuse, who preferred to party on illicit drugs, that people who have medically documented, severe conditions and diseases are being intentionally and purposefully medically neglected, with wholehearted support of politicians who line their pockets with money from big pharma. And the federal government is supporting this virtue signalling with all the force the DEA can muster.

    This ought to give any young person pause if they are thinking about serving their country. Because their country will not take care of them when they come home wounded. See Stan’s comment below, powerful!

  • Trump keeps talking about the worth of veterans and how he is going to help them. I am curious to see is that includes pain patients. Many have already suffered painfully for our country. Now many are suffering because of our countries leaders. Time will tell. Consider this. Lets have a lottery for documented pain patients. That there is some hope for a few, instead of ruining everybody’s life at once. If you want to help veterans, help all of them. Also tell future pain patients in the service before they go to the next war, there will be no pain relief if they get shot or hurt otherwise. Just a lot of excuses and will be told, “Learn to live with it”.

    • Or the senior citizen with spinal stenosis, and Degenerative Spondylolisthesis where a five foot walk will near wear you out. The law in Tennessee has changed number of times and the only people hurt are those in pain. They have made it expensive and intrusive, best not get old or crippled because life is gonna be horrible. I told my pain Dr. I feel like a drug addict because of all these silly rules, while the real addicts get their meds without and rules on the street and as much as they want. Do something for us that live in pain for once, it’d be appreciated.

    • You hit it right on Stan! The people who are truly in chronic pain are the ones suffering. Can we please get a committee to help just chronic pain sufferers? We have one for the addicts so why not? I am sympathetic to both sides, its not my job to judge. I even helped a stranger who had an OD at a PA gas station a couple weeks ago. But what happen to helping those who suffer first and take their meds correctly, not illegally?

  • This is such bulls#@t! The epidemic is heroine and meth! Many chronic pain patients have taken their lives due to improper pain control. This is noting but legal genocide. Where are the rights of people in chronic severe pain? There are diseases that are even more painful than cancer yet it is okay to let sick people suffer needlessly? Hitler took out the s ick and elderly first too!

  • The real crisis is the people who need some relief from constant pain and people who pat themselves on the back for making sure they never get it so you can justify keeping your job. Wait until you are denied pain medication right after a surgery. Then you will know what others are going through.

    • How sad! I thought republicans are anti big government and government not interfering with patient/doctor affairs. I have sickle cell anemia and have lived with pain since birth. Before opiods were popular, I was always in pain and at one point, I considered suicide to end constantly being in pain. The anxiety of being in pain was actually causing more and more painful crisis. (yes, anxiety also triggers sickle cell crisis)

      I am so afraid that this guy (Trump), is so reactive and does not consider cause and effects, that he is about to sign an executive order preventing doctors from prescribing opioids. Well the effect of that will more likely be more deaths from patients killing themselves than deaths from opioids abuse. The other effect will be an explosion on the black market. I will do whatever it takes to get relief when I am in crisis, and if my doctor is unable to prescribe my pain meds, I will resort to the black market.

  • There are more deaths from automobile accidents than opioids per year in the US. Why is there not the same frenzy to stop people from driving? Drug miss-use is an issue but many people benefit from the use of medically prescribed opioids as do many people benefit from a drivers license. This witch hunt toward prescription drug use is unjustifiable on any level. We need to use more common sense than hysteria. Is it possible it is politically more expedient to denounce and restrict prescription drug use? And attacking the vulnerable is the way to more votes. Use your mind before buying in to the political rhetoric.

  • i have medical documentation from 4 drs of my pain from car wrecks to worn out back. i am total disable,and require help. i have been 99% home bound 2 yrs. all the reports,studies,etc, not one mention seperating opioid deaths from those who need it and those who abuse,or illeglay obtain drugs. please show the stats as they are and not group together as if everyone in pain is an addict,but just trying to live and half way funtion. incompident government. show me,dont just throw jibber jabber stats out.

    • Amen! Again, the people who do not have , and or experienced chronic pain haven’t a clue about what it’s like! Yet these are the individuals making decisions for us??? It is a sad state of affairs when the government (who are not doctors)start dictating treatment! How can the government/DEA tell a medical doctor and or pain specialist how to treat their patients? It truly baffles me! God be with us all. All we can do is pray. God bless you all.

    • Exactly! What they don’t get is the majority of chronic pain sufferers are too sick to advocate and fight!

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