Opioid Crisis Stagnation in DC

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Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Not seen the need it's. 705 on this Thursday morning is TH day of February 2018 thanks sandy Darren and for the news headlines there you're listening to Richmond's morning news I'm John Reid trying to. Bring you up to date on everything that's happening. Around the area including in DC with the looming shut down. The one day issues it doesn't seem to go away and always kind of lingering out there is the OP Lloyd. Crisis. And it is a crisis amid a lot of people are. Guy eating every single day and if you if you go to the police blotter in the city of Richmond and you know even in some of the localities submit we'd like to beat up on the inner city area and say there are a lot of problems and this this issue why it's up affecting people even outside of this the city. In places it you wouldn't expect to see a drug problem. Unless you really studied it. In the OPO issues not going away why Andrew Kessler is a drug policy expert and the founder of slings the slingshot solutions and he joins us now. To talk about news up in DC did is a little bit troubling. I'm not sure what to make up that did that the trump administration is knots. Well the the accusation is that they're not on top of this issue and they're not putting the full force of the federal government. And their top staffers on how to how does that sound to you Andrew. I well definitely get a the complete historic step grab me on this. Or am glad I had you appreciate that aren't so what is it that did president trump and his administration. What are they doing and what are they not doing it's causing concern for you. Well what they are doing is pretty good clean YouTube of course give attention. To ease. To the problem we face they're they're giving it a a fair amount of they airtime and they're keeping some focus on it which is always good especially in Washington. However I don't know many of us who work on this issue just don't believe it's been. The priority it should be. And eight kind of a it I guess. When mr. trump was elected we looked at the demographics so I'll Wear. He did well and in the problems in the area that the country would that's probably his greatest. He. Fairly well so we were kind of hopeful. That he wounded. I got the heart make it a priority. And then deliver on promises promises to make this a top priority for. For the country and then for the benefit and help the country. We've seen them declare a public health emergency. Which is. Which was warranted because if the public health merged. It's been defined as such since the and believe fifty and unfortunately after that emergency declaration. Nothing has been done to follow up it's there hasn't been. Any additional requests for funding from the White House terms of supplemental appropriations. There have we have not seen yet any changes at. Within HHS. To clear away some of the bureaucratic red tape we deal lifts. Oh there's been a lot of talk but but not so much action. And if there's this stores and I'm reading indicate did. The experts. Who had been working on this issue for a number of years have either been forced out or sidelined. By the White House who's actually running the show up there and do you have confidence in those people. Well that's that's. That's that's a question that's been you know that that. Deserves in answer I wish I could get in terms of who is in charge technically the person running. The Office of National Drug Control Policy at the White House is the acting director whose name that ridge down who's someone I know someone up or quit and have. Absolute highest confidence and please note the issue inside out. He he knows the offense inside out but unfortunately. In Washington would you give someone the title acting director they kind of puts. Put them in the hole to begin with kind of cut tomorrow the knees when it comes at things like you know when it comes to budget chief and when it comes to just they're they're gravitas and Washington. Oh did little bit longer there they assume that they're going to be out the door they don't have many out there and luckily they got that juice to make an inning capital. Exactly so despite is the extremely high level of confidence. It's just an unfortunate fact of life that being the acting director. It's just not. Is just not the same that we noted mr. trump. The nominee is old or did you nominate representative Marino Pennsylvania. To beef be headed the out of national drug control policy mr. Marino. Withdrew his nomination after. So I'm. Questions about is that its commitment to the issue based on the legislation that he authored. Concerning his. Concerning a potential favoritism towards pharmaceutical company. And so we also hear of course and as it's been a political article that you they cheat refer to. We just you're dead then we see they Kellyanne Connolly is is working on this issue. But we have not seen anything produced from the White House that says this is our plan. And then oh of course you don't Wear and mr. trump was elected we had. We have had some hopes that that work would continue in that. This is kind of you know I mean I may be but it's kind of a no brainer and issued a 174 people I get beat day. We we were kind of hopeful that there would be some continued. Innovation or at least some continued. High level of funding to address the issue. Our biggest disappointment probably came during the supplemental appropriations process. There's an opportunity to ask for money specifically to address. Substance abuse no Buick and several opportunities. In the emergency public health declaration. Was passed several opportunities have come and gone to ask for congress first supplemental appropriation. And then what about what happened but what about the budget deal the world working on now real fast is their funding included a man. Yes Salton potentially three billion dollars the year. For the next few years which is money that would be set out to this state and hopefully the particularly that we read. Think this money would be sent to the states and if so each state could. Focused on an area that they believe is. Most efficient for them the problem in California is not the same that the problem in Virginia they're not afraid that the problem in taxes. Well three billion a year that's not chump change so at least there's some. Not install something to work went maybe that's are hopeful point weakening in the conversation on and of course Andrew will talk to again Andrew Kessler. A drug policy expert and the founder of slingshot solutions and an expert on the OPO waited issue that is. Ravaging the country we appreciate you joining us here on Richmond's morning news. Premiere appreciate it thank you.
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