ATLANTA — President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump addressed attendees of the Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit on April 24, 2019.
“I am honored to join the thousands of leaders here for the 2019 Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit,” President Trump said.
The President focused on the progress being made in three areas: increased funding; curbing the flow of drugs from inside and outside the country; and treatment efforts. Those efforts include:
- A record $6 billion to combat the opioid crisis, including nearly double the funding for research;
- An agreement with China, which will add fentanyl-related substances to the supplementary list of controlled narcotic drugs on May 1;
- The STOP Act, which adds screening to prevent opioids from being shipped illegally into the country. It has prevented six times more packages from reaching American doorsteps;
- A 34 percent reduction in opioid prescriptions in one year, and 43,000 fewer veterans on opioids since 2017;
- More than 3,000 additional Department of Justice prosecutions involving opioids, including a historic announcement earlier this week that brought criminal charges against the sixth largest drug wholesaler and its executives;
- An increase in the distribution of Naloxone by 1 million doses last year;
- Expanded access to treatment for mothers and their babies through the CRIB Act; and
- Greater addiction treatment for inmates through the First Step Act, which has allowed 16,000 inmates to participate in the first four months.
Also accompanying the President and First Lady were Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents, and two individuals in long-term recovery serving as symbols of hope.
Trump is the second sitting president to address the Summit. President Barack Obama spoke in 2016, and former President Bill Clinton gave remarks at the Rx Summit last year.
Melania Trump is the only First Lady to participate in the Summit. She introduced the President and mentioned her BE BEST initiative, that focuses on major issues facing children today. One of the three pillars of the initiative is opioid abuse.
“We were honored to have the President and First Lady address attendees of the 2019 Rx Summit,” said Doug Edwards, director, Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Learning Network, part of HMP, the producer of the meeting. “Their participation underscores the significant attention being paid by all levels of government to this devastating public health epidemic. The President & First Lady’s positive message focused on promoting recovery combined with the commitment of significant resources to address the opioid crisis was shared not only with the 3,500 in attendance, but also across the world via livestream. It is incredibly rewarding to know that we are playing a role by bringing so many groups together to find solutions.”
Founded in 2012, the Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit is now the largest national gathering of professionals from “federal to family:” local, state and, federal agencies, public health officials, business executives, academia, treatment providers, advocates, law enforcement, and family members working to find solutions that address the prescription drug abuse and misuse epidemic. The meeting is produced by HMP, a leader in healthcare events and education.
President Trump concluded with the following hopeful words for the audience, “You are America’s true source of strength, so let us resolve that together we will support, cherish and care for every American in need of recovery. Every American deserves to know the glory of hope, the joy of belonging and the blessings of healing. We will end this terrible menace. We will smash the grip of addiction.”
To stay informed about Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit updates, visit rx-summit.com, and follow Rx Summit on Facebook and Twitter @RxSummit.