August 3, 2017
PRESS CONTACT: Sheila Vargas
Direct: (603) 225-9540 x107
NEW FUTURES STATEMENT ON PRESIDENT TRUMP’S DESCRIPTION OF NEW HAMPSHIRE AS
A “DRUG-INFESTED DEN.”
CONCORD, NH – The following statement was issued by New Futures President and CEO Linda Saunders Paquette.
According to a Washington Post article published today, during a conversation with Mexico’s President Peña Nieto on January 27, 2017, President Trump lashed out at Nieto about the flow of illegal drugs into the United States. Trump told Nieto, “We have a massive drug problem where kids are becoming addicted to drugs because the drugs are being sold for less money than candy. I won New Hampshire because New Hampshire is a drug-infested den.”
President Trump’s statement is disturbing on a number of levels. First, it reflects a total lack of understanding regarding the complexity of the nation’s and New Hampshire’s current opioid epidemic. The causes of the public health crisis in New Hampshire are multi-faceted, ranging from health care provider over-prescribing of opiates, to lack of prevention, treatment, and recovery capacity for people suffering with Substance Use Disorders. Second, the description of New Hampshire as “a drug-infested den” is not only inaccurate, but it is an insult to the first responders, substance use providers, prevention specialists, people in recovery, policymakers, and advocates who are working tirelessly to stem the tide of substance misuse in our state. Finally, working across party lines, New Hampshire has taken significant steps to address the crisis.
President Trump’s time would be better spent demonstrating leadership on this issue. He should champion the recommendations recently issued by his opioid commission that include: expanding capacity for drug treatment under Medicaid; increasing the use of medication-assisted treatments, like buprenorphine and suboxone, for opioid disorders; encouraging the development of non-opioid pain relievers; mandating that every local law enforcement officer in the nation carry naloxone, the drug that rapidly reverses opiate overdose; and, broadening “good Samaritan” laws that shield individuals from prosecution when they report a drug overdose to first responders or law enforcement officials, steps that New Hampshire lawmakers have already taken. New Futures and other New Hampshire experts on the opioid crisis stand ready to advise the President on the innovative steps we have taken as a state to address our number one public health concern.
New Futures is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that advocates, educates and collaborates to improve the health and wellness of all New Hampshire residents. Learn more at www.New-Futures.org.