As the nation witnessed during the 2016 elections, it became known as one of the most heated elections in American history, which came to an end not too long ago. And regardless of how we may feel about the results, Donald J. Trump is set to be sworn in as the forty-fifth president of the United States.
Unfortunately, much of his policies remain a mystery, especially around the topic of addiction treatment. In an effort to gain some clarity, we proceeded to dig into the possible pros and cons as they relate to addiction treatment and the Trump administration. Here’s what we uncovered:
What we know thus far, is that Trump’s position on reverting drug addiction is predominantly focused on stopping the supply of drugs from getting into the country from Mexico. He aims to achieve this by creating a wall along the US-Mexico border and follow this up by aggressively prosecuting both the dealers and traffickers.
He’s also promised to shut down all shipments of fentanyl from China (due to the increasing percentage of American lives that have been taken from this powerful opioid) and increase the production and access to naloxone, a drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, for those who need it in addiction treatment.
To many advocates in the addiction treatment / recovery industry, they believe that getting the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) fully funded should be the initial focus. CARA was made into law during the Obama administration and is considered the most significant federal legislation on addiction treatment in years. It was designed to ensure the commitment of federal resources toward evidence-based education for treatment and recovery programs. However, the Republican Party hindered the Democrat’s efforts to maximize funding for it. This issue is set to be reviewed in 2017, during Trump’s presidency.
There are still a number of concerns regarding Trump’s other campaign promises. Repealing the Affordable Care Act aka Obama Care, could eliminate coverage for many Americans in recovery who were previously uninsured. Trump could slash funding to those federal agencies most connected to the epidemic, such as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Although such concerns remain, optimists point to the benefit of having a now-unified federal government – one that opens up a possibility that legislation could move quickly and frequently than it has in years. Time will only tell.
In all honestly, it’s too soon to make judgments. All we can do right now is wait and see what happens after Inauguration Day in January. Hopefully, Trump will provide the attention this issue needs and deserves, making the lives of the thousands affected by addiction and those seeking addiction treatment better.