Trump Pledges to 'Get Very Tough,' Rein In Opioid Crisis

This is a breaking news and developing story.

Trump said tougher borders were needed to prevent the flow of drugs to the United States. He said the death rate in New Hampshire is twice the national average.

"We have to get tough on these people", said Trump.

President Donald Trump pulled back the curtain on a plan to combat opioid drug addiction that includes stiffer penalties for drug dealers - including the death penalty "where it's appropriate under current law" - during an appearance in New Hampshire Monday.

"Failure is not an option", he added.

He vowed to help create "a generation of drug-free children".

He has previously praised Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, whose war against drug dealers has led to extra-judicial killings.

He outlined the proposal during a speech in New Hampshire, a state badly affected by the opioid crisis.

Trump said he would "probably" hold a "major news conference" at the White House in about a month to discuss dealing with how prescription drugs contribute to the overall drug addiction problem but did not give any further details.

Eight firefighters stood in front of a truck emblazoned with "Rescue 1".

His response as President, however, has been mixed, according to epidemic experts. Treatment providers there work to make firehouses safe places for addicts who come to seek help or begin recovery, without worry of police action.


Trump is making his first visit to New Hampshire since becoming president. But in a call with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto shortly after his inauguration, Trump referred to the state as "a drug-infested den," drawing fierce criticism from the state's leaders. The Washington Post published the transcripts. Trump also plans to ask Congress to decrease the amount of powerful synthetic opioids necessary to trigger mandatory minimum sentences. The President has been accused of sidelining the Office of National Drug Policy Control, failing to heed the recommendations of his opioid council and focusing too much on the punitive measure to respond to the epidemic.

The president formalized what he had long mused about publicly and privately: that if a person in the US can get the death penalty or life in prison for shooting one person, a similar punishment should be given to a drug dealer who potentially kills thousands. He argued that a person in the USA can get the death penalty or life in prison for shooting one person, but that a drug dealer who potentially kills thousands can spend little or no time in jail.

Trump's previous comments have made it clear he's aware of New Hampshire's opioid struggle. "Toughness is the thing (drug dealers) most fear". If we don't get tough on these dealers, we are not going to win this battle.

The Justice Department said the federal death penalty is available for limited drug-related offenses, including violations of the "drug kingpin" provisions in federal law.

He has repeatedly said individual drug dealers are responsible for thousands of deaths. Some legal scholars have said the issue may need to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

"I'm proud of this administration's effort to end this epidemic", she said. "There's been an very bad lot of talk coming from the White House, and now we need action", she said. "These were great kids who had jobs and would have benefited their communities." she said.

He formally called for that in his speech Monday.

The president's plan also calls for expanded research into less-addictive pain killers and efforts to reduce the over-prescribing of opioids.

The stop in New Hampshire will be Trump's first as president.

The New York businessman campaigned in New Hampshire the night before the 2016 presidential election, but Trump narrowly lost the state on Election Day, with Hillary Clinton beating him by fewer than 3,000 votes. Senator Jeff Flake also visited the state earlier this week, fueling speculation of a possible Republican primary challenge to Trump.


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