Trump signs bill to address opioid emergency


WASHINGTON (ABC4 Utah) – The White House says it’s taking a big step forward in fighting the opioid epidemic. One year ago, President Donald Trump declared the epidemic a public health emergency.

President Trump signed into law a bill he hopes will be the most comprehensive effort yet to fight America’s opioid epidemic.

“Together we are going to end the scourge of drug addiction in America,” said Trump.

The bi-partisan bill comes one year after the president declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency.

Under the new plan:

  • Medicaid will expand services to treat mothers and babies suffering from opioid withdrawal
  • The Postal Service will share more information about incoming packages with U.S. Customs officials
  • The government will support more research into pain management alternatives.

Nuerosurgeon and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson says Americans need to better understand how powerful their medicine can be.

“We need to help people understand how easy it is to get addicted,” said Carson.

While the majority of the bill is focused on the opioid epidemic, officials say it will also help people struggling with any form of drug addiction

‘”We want to take care of those who’ve become addicts, we want to help them transition back to society, through job training and education programs,” said Sarah Sanders, White House Press Secretary.

But the president says the government can’t do it alone. He says he’s thankful companies like Amazon and Walmart are stepping up to help employees and customers fight addiction.

“Together we will defeat this epidemic, as one people, one family, and one magnificent nation under God,” said Trump.

 The bill signed by the president Wednesday had bi-partisan support with only Senator Mike Lee voting “nay.”

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Glen Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

 Glen is honored to be delivering the news of the day every weeknight at 5, 6, and 10 in his home state. He is an award-winning veteran journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team as a weekend anchor in June 2013. Over the years, he held various positions at the station as he worked his way up to the main anchor chair. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent and hosts Inside Utah Politics, which airs every Sunday. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...