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Drug addiction and overdose deaths in the United States are a “serious problem” and the administration of President Donald Trump lacks any viable solutions to resolve the country’s opioid epidemic, according to an American analyst.
“It’s obviously true that drug addiction is a serious problem as far as the abuse of opioids and opioid-derivative substances like heroin and others,” said Keith Preston, chief editor of AttacktheSystem.com.
“There’s a lot of reasons for that; a lot of it has to do with the fact that a lot of these drugs are used in the treatment as pain killers in medical treatment and people get addicted,” Preston told Press TV on Wednesday.
“As far as how to go about addressing the problem, the United States has been waging its war on drugs for about half a century now with absolutely no results,” he added. “The United States has just as much of a drug addiction problem today as it did way back in the late 1960s when President Richard Nixon first declared the war on drugs.”
“And if anything, the drug addiction issue is more serious now than it was back then, because not only do we have the opioid addiction problems, but we also have new kinds of opioids that are extremely lethal in terms of their potency,” he noted.
US overdose deaths in 2016 continued to climb despite ongoing efforts to stem the overdose epidemic, according to the latest government numbers.
More than 52,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2015 — the most ever — fueled by soaring abuse of heroin and prescription painkillers.
Trump said Tuesday that he is not declaring a national emergency over the intensifying opioid crisis as suggested by a commission he himself organized.
He said the US would “win” the fight against the heroin and opioid plague, but did not announce any new policy.
The presidential opioid commission, chaired by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, called on Trump last week to “declare a national emergency,” noting, “America is enduring a death toll equal to September 11th every three weeks.”
Declaring a state of emergency is important in that it allows the government to quickly lift restrictions or waive rules for states and local governments to be able to stop waiting and take prompt actions.
“I don’t think though that the American government has any clue as how to go about addressing this in an effective way which is obviously a problem, since there are a lot of over doses,” Preston said.
“This is a serious problem and it has raised to war on drugs that the United States has been pursuing for half a century,” he said. “There are nations around the world that have managed to address this kind of stuff in a relatively effective way but I don’t see that happening in the United States in a perceivable future.”