AP Fact Check: Trump Overstates Progress on Opioids

AP Fact Check: Trump Overstates Progress on Opioids

President Donald Trump is overstating progress towards the opioid epidemic, claiming “the numbers are approach down” regardless of a rise of opioid-related deaths and overdoses in his first 12 months in workplace.

A have a look at his feedback throughout a political rally in Nashville on Tuesday evening:

TRUMP: “We obtained $6 billion for opioid and eliminating that scourge that is taking up our nation. And the numbers are approach down. We’re getting the phrase out — unhealthy. Unhealthy stuff. You go to the hospital, you’ve got a damaged arm, you come out, you are a drug addict with this crap. It is approach down. We’re doing job with it. However we obtained $6 billion to assist us with opioid.”

THE FACTS: Opioid prescriptions are down; deaths and different indicators of the epidemic are up, in response to the most recent statistics, from 2017. And people developments don’t have anything to do with the $6 billion accredited by Congress as a result of that cash is for this 12 months and subsequent.

Trump did not specify what numbers he was speaking about. However in response to knowledge launched in April, prescriptions for opioid painkillers crammed within the U.S. fell virtually 9 % final 12 months, the biggest drop in 25 years. The whole dosage of opioid prescriptions crammed in 2017 declined by 12 % as a result of extra prescriptions had been for a shorter period, fewer new sufferers began on them and high-dose prescriptions dropped. The numbers are from well being knowledge agency IQVIA’s Institute for Human Knowledge Science.

However authorized prescriptions are just one entrance of the epidemic.

Drug overdose deaths involving opioids rose to about 46,000 for the 12-month interval ended October 2017, up about 15 % from October 2016, in response to the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. The numbers are preliminary due to persevering with cause-of-death investigations later within the reporting interval. They may go increased.

Different measures from the CDC additionally level to rising severity of the issue final 12 months.

For instance, emergency division visits for overdoses of opioids — prescription ache drugs, heroin and illicitly manufactured fentanyl — rose 30 % within the U.S. from July 2016 to September 2017. Overdoses shot up 70 % within the Midwest in that point whereas rising by 54 % in massive cities in 16 states.

“Eliminating that scourge” is the intent, however the numbers do not present it fading.

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