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President Donald J. Trump Is Taking Action To Stop Youth Opioid Abuse

June 07, 2018

"My Administration is committed to fighting the drug epidemic and helping get treatment for those in need." – President Donald J. Trump

CAMPAIGN TO STOP YOUTH OPIOID ABUSE: President Donald J. Trump is dedicating his first public service campaign to combatting opioid misuse and addiction among youth.

  • The campaign to Stop Youth Opioid Abuse is a multi-channel campaign from the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), the Ad Council, and the Truth Initiative that focuses on preventing and reducing the misuse of opioids among youth and young adults.
  • The first set of four advertisements for the campaign will bring to life the stories of four young Americans who, in pursuit of more opioids, go to extreme lengths to feed their addiction—including a purposeful car crash and a self-inflicted broken arm.
    • The ads will be multi-channel, reaching youth through digital platforms, social media, influencers, and television.
    • The campaign is fully grounded in research, evaluation, and expert input.
    • This is the first of multiple advertising and awareness campaigns targeting young Americans and the opioid crisis.
  • The campaign will also host a website,, which will include information about opioids, the epidemic, and evidence-based drug treatment.

THE OPIOID CRISIS: The opioid epidemic in America is growing and young people are at an elevated risk of addiction.

  • It is estimated that more than 2 million Americans will suffer from addiction to prescription or illicit opioids in 2018.
    • In 2016 alone, 63,632 Americans died of a drug overdose, of which nearly two-thirds involved a prescription or illicit opioid.
  • Data suggests that young people are especially susceptible to opioid misuse:
    • More than two-thirds of people in drug treatment for opioids reported their first use of opioids (other than heroin) by age 25.
    • In 2016, three-quarters of drug-related overdoses among those aged 15 to 24 were opioid-related.
    • Teens in 2016 (aged 15-19) were more than twice as likely to die due to a drug overdose as they were 17 years earlier.
  • Unfortunately, few youth and young adults who need treatment receive it. According to the National Institutes of Health, youth stay in treatment at a third of the rate adults do. In addition, while over 25 percent of adults in treatment for heroin receive Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), only 2 percent of teens in treatment receive the same evidence-based care.

TAKING ACTION TO COMBAT OPIOIDS: President Trump and his Administration are committed to fighting opioid addiction across the Nation.

  • On October 26, 2017, President Trump directed the Acting Secretary of Health and Human Services to declare the opioid crisis a nationwide Public Health Emergency, shining a light on the opioid epidemic.
  • On March 19, 2018, President Trump unveiled his Initiative to Stop Opioid Abuse and Reduce Drug Supply and Demand, putting in place a concrete plan to fight the epidemic.
  • On March 23, 2018, President Trump signed an omnibus funding bill which provides nearly $4 billion in fiscal year 2018 to address the opioid crisis.

Donald J. Trump, President Donald J. Trump Is Taking Action To Stop Youth Opioid Abuse Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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