White House Convenes Summit on Opioid Epidemic

On Thursday, the White House hosted an Opioid Epidemic Summit to discuss efforts of the Trump Administration to address the nationwide opioid epidemic. The summit gathered a handful of Administration officials, including Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, individuals who have been impacted by the opioid epidemic, and addiction- and recovery-related organizations.

President Trump briefly joined the summit, though he was not previously expected to participate. First Lady Melania Trump also addressed the nearly 200 individuals in attendance, indicating she is proud of what the Administration has accomplished, though there remains much work to be done. Panel discussions during the summit explored prevention, treatment and recovery services, as well as law enforcement and drug interdiction

Recall, the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis released a report last November detailing nearly 60 recommendations to address the opioid epidemic. Most recommendations, however, have been unaddressed altogether, and only some are a work in progress.

While many advocates that attended Thursday’s summit reportedly remained skeptical of the Trump Administration’s approach and sense of urgency, the Administration continued to underscore its efforts to address opioid abuse through education and prevention outreach, treatment and recovery services, and law enforcement.

An overview of the summit is available from the White House here. An article detailing the Trump Administration’s approach to combatting the opioid epidemic is also available from the White House here.