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ASHINGTON — President Trump indicated on Monday the White House would formally declare a national emergency over the opioid crisis as soon as next week and signaled he may withdraw his nomination for drug czar.

“We are going to be doing that next week,” Trump said in an impromptu Rose Garden press conference. “To get to that step, a lot of work has to be done, and it’s time-consuming work. We’re going to be doing it next week.”

Separately, he said he was aware of a Washington Post report over the weekend that outlined how Republican Rep. Tom Marino (Pa.), now Trump’s nominee to be drug czar, pushed a bill that weakened the Drug Enforcement Administration’s enforcement over suspicious drug manufacturers and distributors. Asked whether he had confidence in Marino, Trump said: “We’re going to be looking into Tom.”

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“If I think it’s one percent negative to doing what we want to do, I will make a change, yes,” Trump said, referring to his decision to nominate Marino to run the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

In July, a panel chaired by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie recommended in an interim report that Trump declare the nation’s ongoing crisis with opioid addiction and overdoses a national emergency.

Tom Price, the health secretary until last month, later indicated the administration did not feel such a step was necessary, only to be undercut days later by Trump telling reporters he planned to make the emergency declaration.

Trump reaffirmed that position on Monday, reiterating the issue’s complexity and stressing how labor-intensive the leadup to the forthcoming actions had been.

“We’re going to have a major announcement probably next week on the drug crisis and on the opioid massive problem, and I want to get that absolutely right,” Trump said. “This country, and frankly the world, has a drug problem. The world has a drug problem. But we have it, and we’re going to do something about it.”

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  • We are missing the boat by focusing on opioid epidemic. We need to focus younger and intervene when it’s just pot and alcohol.

  • Correction: America and the World have a drug POLICY problem rooted in UN prohibition drug treaties. For 56 years, the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs has goaded nations into an Al Capone-like Era of substance intolerance that feeds the Capones of the world and douses drug users in bathtub gin-like poison without rules, regulation or labels. The answer: REPEAL UN drug treaties and legalize, control and regulate drugs. Treat drug use as fundamentally a health problem, and incidentally, a law enforcement problem. Change the police mission to serving, helping and protecting citizens, rather than trying to catch consensual, adult drug behavior. Defund gangs and remove the profit/business reason drug dealers have to shoot one another over drug business disputes and gang boundaries. Fight police and adolescent corruption by taking most of the profit out of drugs as America did with liquor. Drug legalization is key to many societal problems.

  • I work as a janitor at a university… I have had to take 5mg of hydrocodeine to be able to work…im 62 yrs old…i pass all my counts and tests. I work with 3 other women and they take same meds…but much stronger to b able to work…SO HOW ARE THOSE OF US WITH CHRONIC PAIN SUPPOSE TO WORK? Give me an answer Mr. Trump!

    • Thanks for speaking out for the Millions of legitimate chronic pain patients across the country who take their medication as prescribed correctly, Pass all they’re drug tests and pill counts. It seem’s in all this madness everyone is focused on outdated information just like that 60 minutes article was. Focusing on death statistics from 7 years ago and ignoring the updated ones showing that when it comes to actual opioid prescription deaths they have decreased not increased and the fact that very few people who are prescribed them actually die from them and that most are found to have combinations of multiple illegal drugs and alcohol in they’re system at the time of death. The “Pill Mills” have long already been shut down along with better tracking and management of prescription monitoring between states to cut down on diversion. Then there is the fact that in the past 2 years alone that total prescribing of opioid’s has decreased by almost 20% ……………….. Meanwhile next to nobody in the media will talk about the legitimate patients who actually need these medications and have never abused them !!!

  • Yeah so us that have chronic pain and without proper pain treatment so many of us have no way out and there will be mass suicides if this happens…I have babies to feed and take care of with a broken back and i don’t know what i will do if i don’t have any relief this is BS just because other’s abuse it doesn’t mean we all do it’s a sad time we are living.

    • Yep nobody in the media seem’s to be paying attention to our plight at all, Meanwhile Chronic Pain Patients across are paying the price for those who used and abused them and are now dying from illegal drugs off the streets. Never mind the fact that our military is sitting over in Afghanistan where 90% of the worlds Heroin is grown ……….. One would think they would start there but nope

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