Relapse: America Needs Rehab

President Trump's budget proposal would fight opioid epidemic

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America needs rehab. President Trump plans to combat the ongoing opioid epidemic by gutting the less-than-useless EPA, in order to fund services and programs fighting heroin and opioid abuse.

Life expectancy continues to decline in the US, because of the rise of overdose deaths. On average, Americans can expect to live to 78.6 years, down from 78.7 years in 2015 and 78.8 in 2014, according to a report by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

The leading causes of death in the US are still heart disease and cancer. But the opioid epidemic is quickly catching up — particularly in young and middle age Americans. Last year, over 63,000 people died of drug overdoses, mainly from heroin and prescription pain killers.

Opioid deaths in the US
The Opioid Epidemic by the Numbers (HHS)

In October, President Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency — a move intended to expand access to treatment and loosen regulations to combat the epidemic. His declaration was heavily criticized by Democrats for not unlocking a new source of funding experts say is essential to solving the opioid crisis.

The President’s new budget proposal would allocate $13 billion to fighting opioid addiction in America. Now Democrats are complaining because the source of the aforementioned $13 billion is the gluttonously over-funded Environmental Protection Agency.

Today’s budget proposal is far from coming to fruition, however. “A lot of presidents’ budgets are ignored. But I would expect this one to be completely irrelevant and totally ignored,” Jason Furman, a top economic adviser to former President Obama, told The AP. “In fact, Congress passed a law last week that basically undid the budget before it was even submitted.”

It would appear neither Democrats, nor Republicans–who control both Houses of Congress–take the opioid crisis seriously. As America anxiously awaits a solution to the epidemic that is killing their sons and daughters, the President’s proposed solution has been shot down in order to fund protecting more important lives…like endangered mosquitos and swamp rats.

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