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President Trump Signs Opioid Bill


On Wednesday October 24th, President Trump signed into law The Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018. The bipartisan bill was designed to make medical treatment for opioid addiction more widely available and to also track down and curb the flow of illegal drugs being sent through the mail. The bill was sponsored by Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and was introduced by Alexander on April 16th, 2018 and passed in the House on September 28 with a vote of 393-8 and later passed in the Senate 98-1 on October 3rd.

“Together, we are going to end the scourge of drug addiction in America. We are going to end it or, at least, make a big dent in this terrible, terrible problem,”  President Trump said following the signing of the bill.

The bipartisan effort was praised by critics.

“Despite all the polarization, Democrats and Republicans were able to agree on a number of effective policies,” Keith Humphreys, a drug policy expert who helped to write the legislation, said to CNN. “That’s impressive that, at least on this issue, they were able to collaborate in a way they haven’t been able to do on anything else.”

“I think the critics are imagining that somehow there is an agency in Washington that can solve this problem with a magic wand that won’t work,” The bill’s sponsor, Lamar Alexander (R-TN), said to The Tennessean following the signing. “But what we can do is dozens of steps and billions of dollars that will equip doctors, medical schools, border guards and others to fight the opioid fight at home.”

The bill has received praise from several members of the medical community though many feel that there could be more done

“It’s a very good starting point. But I call it wave one, and I hope there will be wave two. This is everything but the kitchen sink. Anyone who has any thought about how to address the opioid crisis got a bill in there.” Daniel Ciccarone, a professor of family and community medicine of the University of California at San Francisco, said to the Washington Post.

“I certainly think it’s moving in the right direction, but I do think it’s woefully underfunded. It feels to me as though it’s not really a coordinated effort, that it’s bits and pieces honestly, a little bit working on the edges.” Chinazo Cunningham a professor of medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine told the Washington Post.