by Countable | 11.16.17
The White House is proposing drastic cuts to the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). This agency spearheads federal efforts to combat the opioid and heroin epidemic that’s ripping through communities across the nation.
A memo from the Trump Administration, first reported by CBS, calls for slashing the ONDCP budget by 95% – from $388 million this year to $24 million in 2018. The request is alarming lawmakers of both parties on Capitol Hill.
"We can't take our eyes off the ball," said Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio on the Senate floor this week.
“I never expected that at a time when we would have a substantial increase in drug use, in crime, in overdoses, in deaths – which is what we’ve experienced here in this country over the past few years – that we would cut these programs. I just didn’t imagine that.
Another Senator, Democrat Claire McCaskill of Missouri, was a prosecutor in Kansas City in the 1990s and relied on the Office of National Drug Control Policy in her effort to combat the use and trafficking of methamphetamine and crack-cocaine. McCaskill told Countable:
“To me we should be looking at what they’re doing, maybe fine tuning it, maybe making sure that it is relevant to the crisis we’re facing today, but to basically completely un-fund it, doesn’t make any sense”
McCaskill also said the ONDCP was critical in coordinating efforts to combat drug trafficking and gang violence across state lines and around the U.S.
To counteract President Trump's proposal, democrats are rallying around a proposal called The Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act. The bill would not only keep the ONDCP intact, but but expand its mission to going after high intensity drug trafficking. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) told reporters,
“It makes clear to the administration that we will not tolerate reckless cuts that would hurt our ability to support those on the front lines."
Another bill, championed by West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin, would make pharmaceutical companies pay 1c per milligram of opioid sold into substance abuse programs.
Democrats in both chambers also point out that the GOP health care proposal, recently passed by the House, would cut funding for low-income families combatting substance abuse.
What do you think of the Office of National Drug Control Policy? How should it be funded? Click Take Action and tell your Reps!
-- Matt Laslo
(Photo Credit: Casey Fleser via Flickr / Creative Commons)
Written by Countable
I do not support the cuts to this program and suspect they are simply a way of guaranteeing the for profit prison system will remain profitable and full. This is just one more way in which the current legislature is showing how little they care for people trying desperately to turn their lives around.
As a healthcare provider I have seen the success of MAT for individuals with opioid addiction. It works. It needs to be funded. It is the only way to keep people out of prison or eventually from dying of an OD. These are not "druggies" these are your neighbors, successful people that have become addicted and had their lives destroyed. It can happen to anyone. As a provider on the front lines, I see it everyday. Someone goes in for a routine surgery or they fall and get prescribed pain pills at the ER. They have pain so they continue to get them, and they're hooked, they still need them-is it really the pain or is it addiction? It's not because they are bad people, but their body is physiologically addicted and they need help before it spirals into a bigger problem-or by the time I see them, it already has. We need to help people. Funding treatment is a lot cheaper than the ER visits and jail time for crimes associated with addiction.
He just wants to keep the American people dumb, poor, sick, and controllable. I want the American people healthy and empowered.
Totally inappropriate! He campaigned on combatting opioid abuse now he wants to cut funding? He's such a liar. All he did was pander to people, promising them whatever they needed to hear in order to get their votes. Now he's casting them off. I hope the people wake up and make him a one term president.
As a pharmacist, I do not support this. Opioid addiction is a serious problem in this country and we need to get it under control. These programs are so important. Just another example of 45 lying about being "for the people".
He'll waste money on a wall to play to his base, but not fund a drug program to protect them? A much larger threat, affecting a much larger portion, of a dwindling base....IDIOT
Of course he would! Anything that helps people trump is against! The Doctors should monitor medication not trump! Trump can't even monitor the government let along anything else! Trump should be IMPEACHED ASAP!
What better way to fuel mass incarceration?!
Of course he will. Rich people with addiction issues can afford private clinics. It's only the middle class and poor that need help. He is not a leader for the people
Because incarceration would be so much more effective and cheaper than treatment?
ThIs can't be serious?
Maybe the Republicans are secretly hoping addicts will go away -/ to prison now that Sessions is proposing new sentencing or will just check out of this life. Gotta find the money to give to the wealthy. The poor die so the wealthy can reap the spoils.
We could cut funding for these programs and use the money to fund UNIVERSAL COVERAGE for all our people and cover drug related illness there.
Of course he does! The opioid trade, both legal and illicit, generates TONS of cash for the 1%. Why do you think we've been meddling in Afghanistan since the eighties 🤣
Let me get this right... AG Sessions wants to throw the book at criminals and Trump wants to defund programs to help people deal with opiod addictions. Their next proposal will be the firing squad for a teenager who picks up a joint!
How could Donald Trump say time & time again he was FOR helping communities deal with the OPIOD & HEROIN crisis and WANT TO CUT THE ONDCP by 95%????? It would be absurd for this program to be defunded!! Perhaps is it time for an investigation into whether Mr. Trump and A.G. Sessions have stock in private prisons since they seem so eager to keep them filled to capacity.
Don't cut funding for the opioid program.
Over and over we keep hearing that drug abuse is a major health problem, if not the major health concern in our country. It is treatable, needs more research into etiology and better treatment. Slashing funding for drug abuse care is kind of like defunding PAP smears or PSA monitoring. What is the President thinking? Did he not get enough of a tax break? Maybe this is another smoke screen to deflect from the "Russian Thing". This administration is not passing the sniff test.
Please do not allow Pres. Trump to continue to fully fund our opioid addiction treatment programs. 76 Americans a day are dying everyday from opioid overdoses. Addicted Americans deserve our nation's support as the struggle to overcome their addiction and continue to live a drug free lives. Put pressure on the President while there is still time.
Wow, what a president! When are the house and senate going to step up, be Americans and impeach the most incompetent president in the history of this country?