WASHINGTON -- As President Trump inartfully acknowledged in his call with Mexico's president, New Hampshire is an epicenter of the opioid crisis. He campaigned on a series of policy prescriptions there. "I promised the people of New Hampshire that I would stop drugs from pouring into your communities," he said during the campaign. CBS News sat down last week with Richard Baum, acting director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. "I would give us, give us an A+," Baum said when asked to grade the administration's performance on the issue so far. When asked to assess progress on Mr. Trump's promises in the New Hampshire speech, his answers suggested the grade is more of an incomplete. "We will stop the flow of illegal drugs into our country," Mr. Trump said in the speech. "So having the men and women of Customs and Border Protection and DHS on our border working with infrastructure … is progress and movement in the right direction," Baum said of progress on that … [Read more...] about Checking in on Trump’s promises to combat the opioid epidemic
BLUE CREEK, Ohio -- On a winding trail in southeastern Ohio, four children symbolize the devastating consequences of the opioid epidemic, reports CBS News correspondent Dean Reynolds. Delaney, Liam, Finnian and Connally are living with their aunt Suzanne Valle now. She and her husband are raising them as their own because their parents are heroin addicts. "It's heartbreaking. It's heartbreaking to see that parents will take the drugs over the children," Valle said. She is talking about her own brother. "What do you tell those children about their parents?" Reynolds asked. "I tell them that their parents love them, but they just are not able to take care of them," Valle replied. She is raising a fifth child, a boy named Ronny who just turned one. His mother is an addict somewhere in town. It is estimated that due in large part to the opioid catastrophe, at least 2.5 million children nationwide are being raised by grandparents or other relatives. But some have no relatives who will … [Read more...] about Ohio foster care system flooded with children amid opioid epidemic
Gov. Chris Christie, who’s been tapped by President Trump to lead a task force on opioid and substance abuse, said Wednesday that he’s ready to get to work. “This issue causes enormous pain and destruction to everyday families in every state in this country,” Christie, a Republican, said during a listening session at the White House. The focus on drug addiction and treatment is not new for Christie. As governor of New Jersey, he’s pushed to expand the availability of drug treatment and rehabilitation services, and he’s enacted measures to crack down on the opioid epidemic, including a mandatory waiting period for any new opioid prescriptions. “Addiction is a disease, and it’s a disease that can be treated,” Christie said Wednesday. Yet, he added, “Folks don’t talk about it. We talked about cancer, we talk about heart disease, we talk about diabetes, and we’re not afraid to talk about it. But people are afraid and … [Read more...] about Can Chris Christie put a dent in the opioid epidemic?
On Wednesday, dozens of medical nonprofit groups pleaded with hospital regulators to tighten national rules for prescribing painkillers. America has an opioid epidemic, and West Virginia is ground zero. Opioid overdoses kill 10 people in 12 days in Sacramento area New guidelines aim to reduce epidemic of opioid painkiller abuse Doctors there write 138 prescriptions for every 100 people. Now, the state has launched a crackdown. Seven doctors have lost their licenses and 15 more are being investigated. CBS News sat down with one of them. Meet Dr. Michael Kostenko. He's written more than 40,000 prescriptions for oxycodone in the last two years. He says at any given time, he has between 800 to 1,000 active patients in his practice. Nearly 100 percent of them get prescriptions for oxycodone. Court documents show that Kostenko is one of West Virginia's top ten prescribers of painkillers. CBS News correspondent Jim Axelrod asked him how many prescriptions he had written earlier in the … [Read more...] about West Virginia doctor investigated for deaths in opioid epidemic
close Video Trump unveils three-pronged plan to fight opioid epidemic Should drug traffickers receive the death penalty? After declaring the nation’s opioid epidemic a public health emergency in October, President Trump revealed his plans to crack down on the health crisis. His plan, which he discussed in March, includes harsher penalties for drug traffickers and lowering the amount of drugs needed to trigger mandatory minimum sentences for dealers. “These are terrible people and we have to get tough with those people,” Trump said of traffickers and dealers. “This isn’t about committees ... this is about winning a very tough problem.” The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 115 Americans die daily from opioid-involved deaths. Opioids, including prescriptions and heroin, killed 42,000 people in the U.S. in 2016 – the highest on record. It’s important that the full weight of the federal … [Read more...] about How the White House is tackling the opioid epidemic