Congressman Tim Ryan Responds to President Trump's Executive Action on the Opioid Crisis

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan today responded to President Trump's Executive Actions to combat the ongoing heroin and opioid addiction crisis. This action would establish a commission tasked with identifying federal funding streams that could be directed to address the epidemic, and to develop a formal recommendation for the best path forward to combat this ongoing public health emergency.

“Opioid addition has plunged communities across Ohio and the country into crisis. Each and every member of Congress should be laser focused on getting localities the resources they need to support prevention and recovery. That urgency must extend to the executive branch as well, and while I am heartened to see President Trump giving addiction the attention it deserves, as Co-Chair of the Congressional Addiction, Treatment, and Recovery Caucus I am gravely concerned that the executive action he announced today will be entirely inadequate to address this serious problem. What we need more than commissions is money for our local communities,” said Congressman Ryan.

“If President Trump is serious about fighting addiction, he should work to strengthen the Affordable Care Act, which is responsible for covering over 220,000 Ohioans alone who are suffering from substance abuse or mental health disorders. President Trump’s failed healthcare plan would have pulled the rug out from these men and women and made it more difficult for them to access care for treatment and recovery. The President should also enthusiastically support the request of $9.4 billion for the 34 key Administrative programs that create a comprehensive response through prevention, treatment, recovery and law enforcement to help combat heroin and prescription drug addiction. While he talked a lot during the campaign about the need to help people struggling from addiction, he has not yet even nominated a new Director of the Office for National Drug Control Policy, which will be tasked with supporting his own commission. I stand ready to work with the Administration and my colleagues on either side of the aisle to get resources to combat this crisis to areas of the country that need it most.”  

Key Ohio and National  Addiction Statistics:

National Statistics:

  • In 2015, drug overdose deaths continued to climb to more than 52,000; by comparison, 38,000 people died due to automobile accidents in 2015.
  • Opioids were the main driver of overdose deaths, accounting for more than 33,000 fatalities.

    144 individuals are lost on average every day in the U.S. to drug overdoses.
  • In 2013, an estimated 22.7 million Americans needed treatment for a problem related to drugs or alcohol, but only about 2.5 million people (0.9 percent) received treatment at a specialty facility.

Ohio Statistics:

  • Since 2007, fatal drug overdoses have been the leading cause of accidental death in our state.
  • Fatal drug overdoses now exceed motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of accidental death in Ohio.
  • In Trumbull County, there were 73 overdoses in January, 45 overdoses in February, and 82 overdoses already in March.
  • In Summit County, we saw an 11.3 percent increase over 2015, with at least 225 deaths caused by drug overdoses in 2016.
  • In 2014, Ohio led the nation with 2,106 opioid overdoses.
  • Ohio is suffering from an increase in usage of lethal fentanyl and carfentanil.