U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions stopped in Tallahassee Thursday to reiterate President Donald Trump’s commitment to addressing the opioid crisis. He says Trump included some “bold” goals when he unveiled a new three-pillar plan earlier this week.
“He set a goal for us—we’re going to reduce the prescription opioids by 30 percent over the next three years. I think that’s doable. It’s something I have known we need to do. The plain fact is we are prescribing too many opioids in America today and I think most people know that. And we have to be careful about it. It’s causing addiction and people who get addicted don’t just walk in a treatment center one day and come out the next without being permanently impacted,” Sessions says.
Another goal Trump announced relates to stopping drug dealers. The president suggested that crackdown should include the death penalty and Session says he began implementing the president’s order Wednesday. He says drug dealing often leads to violence and even murder.
“Gangs, these gangs murder people on whims sometimes. They are often deliberately providing drugs that result in deaths. So we will be careful how we handle these cases, but we will not hesitate to bring the death penalty when appropriate,” Sessions says.
The third piece of the president’s plan relates to treatment. He wants to increase support services for people who are addicted. The Trump administration has created a website, called The Crisis Next Door. It encourages people to tell their stories about how opioid abuse has impacted their lives or their families in an effort to increase education and reduce the stigma associated with addiction.