AP FACT CHECK: Trump on opioid epidemic
A look at President Donald Trump’s statements on the nation’s opioid epidemic Tuesday night and how it compares with the facts:
TRUMP: Changes in immigration policies, including more border security, “will also support our response to the terrible crisis of opioid and drug addiction.”
THE FACTS: Drugs being brought across borders are only part of the problem contributing to the nation’s opioid crisis.
According to the U.S. Centers on Disease Control and Prevention, about 40 percent of the opioid deaths in 2016 involved prescription painkillers. Those drugs are made by pharmaceutical companies. Some are abused by the people who have prescriptions; others are stolen and sold on the black market.
The flow of heroin into the U.S. from Mexico is a major problem, but drugs that are brought from other countries don’t all come over land borders. Illicit versions of powerful synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, which are a major factor in rising overdose numbers, are being shipped directly to the U.S. from China.
TRUMP: “My administration is committed to fighting the drug epidemic and helping get treatment for those in need.”
THE FACTS: The bipartisan National Governors Association doesn’t think he’s lived up to that commitment. Earlier this month, the governors called on Trump and Congress to do more to pay for and coordinate a response to the opioid epidemic.
The Trump administration has allowed states to begin allowing states to seek permission to use Medicaid to cover addiction treatment in larger facilities — a measure advocates say is needed.
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