Access to legal category medications has been reduced given the problems caused by their overuse, but the problem has now spilled over into abuse of stronger and illegal opioids such as heroin. A national opioid crisis has hit the US, with addiction numbers increasing fivefold over the past seven years. While the presidential election is important for the future of the US and the American pharmaceutical industry, the Senatorial elections remain key to deciding how much of a future president’s agenda can be passed. As seen with the inaction of the Trump administration, and the plans of Joe Biden, each candidate is going to need the Senate on their side. The Republicans will be defending 23 seats in 2020, while the Democrats will only be defending 12.
- The news media are a top source of science news for a majority of Americans , and can thus play a key role in framing scholarly publications for public consumption.
- Experts are deeply skeptical that any effort to beef up border security, including Trump’s wall, would do much, if anything, to stop the flow of drugs into the US.
- Pill mills are also large suppliers of the illegal painkiller black markets on the streets.
- Finally, we noted whether each story included a link to the research study it mentioned.
- Naloxone is used as an “antidote” for opioid overdose which includes heroin, and opioid pain medicines such as morphine, fentanyl and codeine.
White House officials referred questions about the death penalty and drug traffickers to the justice department, which said the federal death penalty is available for several limited drug-related offences, including violations of the “drug kingpin” provisions in federal law. Death for drug traffickers and mandatory minimum penalties for distributing certain opioids are just two elements under the part of Mr Trump’s plan that deals with law enforcement and interdiction to break the international and domestic flow of drugs into and across the US. Opioids – including prescription opioids, heroin and synthetic drugs such as fentanyl – killed more than 42,000 people in the US in 2016, more than any year on record, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In an attempt to reduce this, the newly-established Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis (“the Commission”) published an interim report with recommendations of action to be taken. The report, published on 31 July, made several recommendations to the president, including urging him to “declare a national emergency”, and to use every tool at his disposal to prevent further deaths. In relation to the published research on opioid-related disorders, the proportion of studies that get mentioned by the news media is similarly low. Of these, 129 (78.6%) studies were referenced only once, 22 (13.4%) twice, and 13 (7.9%) three or more times.
The news media are a top source of science news for a majority of Americans , and can thus play a key role in framing scholarly publications for public consumption. Journalists can amplify frames used by scientists, “hype” novel findings, raise doubts concerning the validity of scientific findings or the morality of their implications, or reframe the debate scholarly publications are placed in (Lawrence et al., 2000; Caulfield, 2004; Nerlich and Halliday, 2007; O’Keefe et al., 2015; Stecula and Merkley, 2019). Such framing choices may be particularly important when it comes to health topics, as publics often rely on media coverage for information about diseases, medical screenings and diagnostic tests, illness prevention, and more (Stryker et al., 2008; Kealey and Berkman, 2010; Wilson et al., 2012).
Distributors are required under the Controlled Substances Act to report and stop what the DEA calls “suspicious orders” — such as unusually large or frequent shipments of opioids. The profitability of this drug has led dealers to adulterate other drugs with fentanyl without the knowledge of the drug user. The most high-profile death involving an accidental overdose of fentanyl was singer Prince.
- Instead, he has merely declared a public health emergency, which is seen by many as a short-term measure that doesn’t allocate enough money.
- This would help lower the drug prices for the 67.7 million Americans who use Medicare, and the bill also wants to expand these requirements to the private sector.
- We have mapped risks and opportunities across sectors, tracked corporate responses, and spoken with companies.
- In Rao’s story, a study author offers their view on the racial dimension of the opioid crisis by stating that “doctors are more likely to prescribe painkillers to white people, since there is still a stigma that minority patients will abuse drugs has actually made it easier for white Americans to get addicted to opioids simply because of access” .
- By 2000, parts of the United States, particularly rural areas, began to see soaring rates of addiction and crime related to use of the drug.
“The department of justice will seek the death penalty against drug traffickers when it’s appropriate under current law,” said Andrew Bremberg, director of Trump’s Domestic Policy Council. During his first Presidential Campaign much of Trump’s drug policy proposals revolved around the building of “a wall” on the U.S.-Mexican border to stem the flow of drugs and drug dealers. Although he has partially delivered on this campaign promise the pandemic has shown that closing the border with its southern neighbour will not solve the U.S.’s drug problem.
Tate galleries shun Sackler family money over opioid crisis
The White House’s plan to break the international and domestic flow of drugs into and across the US also includes broadening education and awareness, and expanding access to proven treatment and recovery efforts. Biden has accused Trump of failing to secure America’s drug supply chain when he announced his supply chain manifesto back in July. A year ago, president Trump declared the opioid crisis a “national emergency” and since then Congress has earmarked more than $8 billion to tackle the crisis. Whilst many of the Commission’s recommendations advocate positive evidence-based steps for reducing the harms of the opioid crisis, the report does not go far enough – as it fails to mention several key harm reduction measures. The senators requested that Trump provide their offices with a list of his political appointees to key drug policy positions and those appointees’ relevant qualifications, including appointees at ONDCP; the Department of Justice, including the DEA; the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration ; and elsewhere in his administration.
The impact of synthetic fentanyl, a version of a drug originally intended for use by cancer patients, has been devastating. In the payment notice, 2020 MA plan revenues, on average, are expected to increase by 2.53 percent in 2020, up from the 1.59 percent estimated in the CMS advance payment notice issued in February. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms eco sober house rating of the Creative Commons Attribution License . The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
The president told the audience at a Pennsylvania campaign rally this month that countries like Singapore have fewer issues with drug addiction because they harshly punish their dealers. He argued that a person in the US can get the death penalty or life in prison for shooting one person, but a drug dealer who potentially kills thousands can spend little or no time in jail. Other issues that had previously dominated the domestic drug policy landscape, such as cannabis legalization, have been eclipsed by recent developments and more pressing issues. Once a ‘third-rail issue’, views have changed in Washington, mainly due to the wider acceptance of cannabis use across the population. More Americans now support the legalization of marijuana, whether for recreational or medicinal purposes, than oppose it.
A 2019 Gallup poll indicated that Democrats and Independents overwhelmingly supported legalization and even the majority of Republican voters were for it – albeit by much close margins. The MORE Act was expected to have been passed by the House in late September 2020. It would have removed federal penalties for marijuana related crimes by deleting cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act and erase some criminal records.
As public health and addiction experts scramble to find a way to curb this epidemic, a new debate is emerging over what, if any, role cannabis can play in preventing addiction, and helping addicts recover. US president Donald Trump’s plan to combat opioid drug addiction calls for harsher punishments for drug traffickers, including the death penalty, a White House official said. Back in 1990 at a luncheon held by the Miami Herald, Trump called the United States’ drug enforcement policy a ‘joke’ and was quoted as saying “We’re losing badly the war on drugs. You have to take the profit away from these drug czars.” He advocated using tax revenues from legalized drug trade to educate the public on the dangers of drugs. However as a candidate for the White House in 2016 he did a 180-degree flip, saying cannabis regulation was “bad” and that decisions should be left to each state to decide its marijuana policy.
White House Response to the Opiate Epidemic
In June 2020 the ONDCP launched the Rural Community Tool Box which is aimed at helping patients access treatment remotely. The Trump administration has designated $425 million in emergency funding for mental health and substance use treatment, but critics say it is not nearly enough to keep afloat treatment programs, recovery centres and needle-exchange programmes. Social isolation, economic hardship and new suppliers and substances have compounded the threats to drug users during the pandemic.
The US Drug Enforcement Administration has also lowered its manufacturing quotas for opioids in an attempt to restrict unnecessary consumption. Given the burden of opioid addiction on the US economy and the political attention it receives, we believe there will be opportunities for companies offering solutions as well as risks to those companies implicated in its causes. Given the economic burden of opioid addiction in the US and the political attention it receives, we believe there will be opportunities for companies offering solutions, as well as risks to those companies implicated in its causes. The Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services recently issued its final Medicare Advantage and Part D plan payment policies and Final Call Letter for the 2020 plan year.
Parallels have been drawn between the opioid epidemic and the Big Tobacco settlements of the 1990s. In reality, there are some stark differences, not least the system by which these drugs have been prescribed, sold, distributed and insured. For example, insurance plans may have covered prescription opioids, but not other painkillers which are more expensive but less addictive.
According to data from IMS Health, Medicaid pays for around one in four prescriptions for buprenorphine, an addiction treatment medication. But the Trump administration has done very little, at least publicly, about the broader final set of 56 proposals — which generally focused on expanding access to addiction treatment by, for example, streamlining federal funding for drug addiction. As overdose deaths involving heroin more than quadrupled since 2010, what was a slow stream of illicit fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine, is now a flood, with the amount of the powerful drug seized by law enforcement increasing dramatically.
In June 2020, following weeks of often violent protests following the death of George Floyd, Trump declared “I am your president of law and order,” emphasising this by tweeting “LAW AND ORDER” in block capitals. This latest mantra doesn’t speak directly to drug policy, since like many of Trumps outburst it doesn’t refer to any particular policy or strategy, but it may include a renewed emphasis on harsher drug related penalties. Evoking fear of “crime” in the electorate has been a feature of American political strategy for years, and was a key feature of Trump’s 2016 campaign, in which Trump vilified immigrants as violent criminals. However, recent polls have indicated “violent crime” is not a top issue for voters, ranking fifth in importance behind the economy, healthcare, supreme court appointments and the coronavirus.
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This is a fate for drug dealers Mr Trump has been highlighting publicly in recent weeks. The US president will launch his plan in New Hampshire, which https://sober-home.org/ he once described as a ‘drug-infested den’. Trump has mused openly in recent weeks about subjecting drug dealers to the “ultimate penalty”.
- The president told the audience at a Pennsylvania campaign rally this month that countries like Singapore have fewer issues with drug addiction because they harshly punish their dealers.
- The Trump administration has designated $425 million in emergency funding for mental health and substance use treatment, but critics say it is not nearly enough to keep afloat treatment programs, recovery centres and needle-exchange programmes.
- Trump mused openly in recent weeks about subjecting drug dealers to the “ultimate penalty”.
- Conceptualized another way, frames act as “central organizing idea” that journalists use to structure their stories (Gamson and Modigliani, 1989, p. 3), and that audiences can rely on to make sense of the information presented to them.
On the other hand, these issue-focused stories tended to provide even less context about the research they referenced than science communication stories. That is, unlike science communication stories, issue-focused stories seldom included details like author names, affiliations, or journal titles. They were also less likely to provide any details about the study design or methods, and more likely to provide only a link to the scholarly publications they referenced. Fast forward to today, when—after almost two decades of deceptive marketing of opioids and economic and social upheaval (Dasgupta et al., 2018; James, 2019)—North America’s overdose problem has, indeed, become “far worse” (James, 2019, p. 98). Since Sackler’s original statement, opioid-related overdoses have increased dramatically, contributing to 47,600 deaths in the United States in 2017 alone (14.9 per 100,000 population; NIDA, 2019).
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The COVID -19 crisis has only served to highlight failures in a fundamentally broken system, on top of which future U.S. drug policy will have to deal with the legacy effects of the pandemic. While both candidates have over the years shown significant reversals on drug issues, the Trump campaign does not signal and appetite for any specific, further change of direction if re-elected. While a future with Joe Biden as President may offer a more eco sober house boston progressive approach to drug policy the repercussions of the events of 2020 may make substantial change more challenging and protracted. So where do the developments in the United States sit within the global drug policy debate? The United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs has also decided to delay until December 2020 a vote on the potential global rescheduling of cannabis for medical purposes, recommended by the World Health Organization .
The ability to comment on our stories is a privilege, not a right, however, and that privilege may be withdrawn if it is abused or misused. The US leader also wants congress to pass legislation reducing the amount of drugs needed to trigger mandatory minimum sentences for traffickers who knowingly distribute certain illicit opioids. The Biden campaign has promised to introduce far more stringent measures to enforce the regulation of drug prices. One of the most notable is his supporting legislation that the Democratic-controlled house passed last year, which would see the government negotiate drug prices. It would mandate that they negotiate the price of at least 25 Medicare Part D drugs annually, and require federal authorities to hammer out the cost of at least 50 medicines a year. Another part of the bill would limit drug manufacturers’ ability to annually hike prices on Medicare drugs, which will force them to rebate the portion of the increase that is above the rate of inflation.
“This is no longer somebody else’s community, somebody else’s kid, somebody else’s co-worker.” Trump has also argued that someone can be put to death in the US for shooting one person, but that a drug dealer who potentially kills thousands can spend little or no time in jail. “Some countries have a very, very tough penalty – the ultimate penalty. And, by the way, they have much less of a drug problem than we do,” Trump said. Please update your billing details here to continue enjoying your access to the most informative and considered journalism in the UK.
Instead, the lack of content has the effect, whether intended or not, of portraying the science as valid by encouraging readers to “trust or believe in the science without knowing what science” (Taylor, 2010, p. 234). Doing so could have the opposite effect and, instead diminish readers’ trust in the news coverage (Jensen et al., 2017). Given that a majority of initial biomedical studies are later invalidated by other research (Dumas-Mallet et al., 2016), the news media’s uncontextualized reporting of opioid-related research findings could lead to public support of health policies that promote experimental treatment or prevention interventions that have not yet been sufficiently tested. Conversely, portraying findings as tentative or preliminary when in fact they are supported by a larger body of research could perpetuate a lack of support for effective treatments (see, for example, McGinty et al., 2020). First, although today’s online news landscape is diverse—with variation between news outlets in terms of funding models, ideological orientation, audience profiles, and medium—we did not consider these differences in our sample selection or analysis. Instead, we present a broad overview of how scholarly publications about opioid-related disorders are framed by the most widely used news outlets in Canada and the US.