Trump's opioid commission releases final report with 56 recommen - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Trump's opioid commission releases final report with 56 recommendations

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WSIL -- President Trump's bipartisan commission on the opioid crisis released its final report with 56 recommendations on how to fight the epidemic, including many recommendations some advocates and states have long suggested.

The report calls for streamlining federal funding and programs geared toward combating the opioid crisis.

"The Commission urges Congress and the Administration to block grant federal funding for opioid-related and SUD-related activities to the states, where the battle is happening every day. There are multiple federal agencies and multiple grants within those agencies that cause states a significant administrative burden from an application and reporting perspective," the report reads. "Creating uniform block grants would allow more resources to be spent on administering lifesaving programs. This was a request to the Commission by nearly every Governor, regardless of party, across the country."

Commissioners also called for: making it easier for addicts to get treatment; more training for doctors prescribing opioids; more federal drug courts; tougher penalities for fentanyl trafficking; an aggressive media campaign, educating the public on the dangers of opioids; and more first responders using naxolone, to save the lives of people overdosing from opioids.

They also call on Congress to provide the money necessary, but did not provide a cost estimate.

"If a terrorist organization was killing 175 Americans a day on American soil, what would you be willing to pay to make it stop?" asked the commission's chairman, Gov. Chris Christie, R-New Jersey. "This is an attack from within. We our killing ourselves."

Last week, Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency.

"As Americans, we cannot allow this to continue," said Trump.

People on the front lines of that fight in southern Illinois, like Jackson County Health Department administrator, Dr. Sarah Patrick, applaud that decision, but say more needs to be done.

"We need to make sure that these dollars get to that local level," said Patrick. "Doing more plans probably isn't going to solve the problem.'

As the commission recommended, education could help people save their loved ones. 

That's also the idea behind an opioid town hall the Massac County Drug Awareness Coalition is hosting on Tuesday, Nov. 7 at 6 p.m. in the Massac County Courthouse annex basement (old Banterra building) in Metropolis. 

Holly Windhorst is the group's director. 

"I would really like to have people who have an addicted family member or even people who are addicted themselves," said Windhorst. "I think people are in fear and worried their loved ones might become addicted. It seems to know no bounds."

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