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Trump's plan: A blueprint we can build on

March 19. 2018 8:31PM

When President Trump chose to unveil his plan for dealing with the ongoing opioid crisis, what better place to do so than the “drug-infested den” of New Hampshire?

We weren’t offended by Trump’s harsh words, because, well, he had a point. We’ve been hit as hard as anywhere in the country by the deadly scourge of fentanyl, and years of good faith efforts by local, state, and federal officials are just now preventing the number of overdose deaths from rising.

Trump’s plan aims to cut opioid prescriptions by a third within three years. While overprescription of powerful and potentially addictive painkillers is part of the problem, we must have safeguards for patients dealing with chronic pain. Cutting off necessary prescriptions could drive people to self-medicate with illegal drugs.

The second leg of Trump’s plan would target illegal drugs coming across the border. This is not all about Mexico. Hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal fentanyl is coming from China through the U.S. Postal Service, according to a U.S. Senate investigation.

Seeking the death penalty against drug traffickers seems more like retroactive support from Trump’s heated rhetoric than a serious part of the plan.

The third leg of Trump’s plan is more federal money for treatment and recovery services. This could help. New Hampshire’s recent experience shows that new recovery centers also require oversight and technical support, not just blank checks.

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