How bad was the drug problem under President Trump’s first year? A simple Google search shows one report after the next — 2017 was the worst year in recent memory as towns and cities across the US are breaking records for drug overdoses.
Here are some examples: In Queens, NY there were more drug overdose deaths than murders in 2017. In Lancaster, PA, the Lancaster County Coroner’s Office saw a 400 percent increase in overdose deaths in 2017 compared to 2016. In York County, heroin-related deaths nearly doubled from 2016 to 2017. By the end of August, Baltimore had racked up more overdose deaths in 2017 than it did for all of 2016. For the first 5 days of 2018 in Peoria County, there were 5 overdose deaths.
According to US News, data published in December shows the drug issue scaled 7% in the first 6 months of Trump’s presidency, and it is expected that the full 12-months will show an even bigger increase when the numbers are finalized.
By declaring the country’s opioid crisis a 90-day national public health emergency on Oct. 26, President Donald Trump set in motion his administration’s response to the country’s deadly overdose epidemic.
While Trump’s October announcement did direct national attention toward the crisis and open temporary access to a small amount of federal funds, the president did not divert any new permanent funding toward a federal response. With the temporary emergency status set to expire at the end of January, Trump now faces the challenge of financing and implementing long-term policies that will have a lasting impact on ending the American addiction scourge. Meanwhile, Trump is pushing for DACA to be approved, which is estimated to cost US taxpayers $26 Billion. It appears as if the “Americans first” lingo no longer means much.
One has to wonder how serious the president is about addressing the issue. The GOP healthcare bill that was proposed in the early summer months of 2017, and pushed by Trump as being a “really great bill,” stripped Medicaid funding for addiction services.
One of Trump’s strongest supporters during the 2016 campaign, Kraig Moss. The New York contractor pulled his support from Trump after the GOP healthcare bill was announced.
Moss, who had sold all his construction equipment to pay for his travels to Trump campaign rallies in cities across the country, lost his son to a drug overdose a few years ago. “I would stand outside and play music for Trump supporters while they waited to enter his rallies, but I feel lied to today,” Moss said in a cable news interview.
Moss says Trump’s rhetoric on the stump about fighting the war on drugs was nothing more than a tactic to get elected.