Combating drug addiction is a personal matter for several members of the Trump administration, said Jim Carroll, director of the U.S. Office of Drug Control Policy, in a Thursday interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight with hosts Rebecca Mansour and Joel Pollak.
Carroll said, “Under this president, I am incredibly blessed because we have members of the cabinet that are committed to this. The president has been very open about having his brother, Fred, die of an addiction. The president understands that. He communicates to everyone in the cabinet that we have to be involved in this. You have Jerome Adams, the surgeon general, talking about his brother — who is incarcerated as a result of an addiction problem — in his life. I have a family member in recovery. Everyone in this administration is a believer in the American people, and we are truly one of them. We understand this problem because it’s affecting all of us.”
Carroll remarked, “Under this president … we are getting close to $40 billion that we are devoting back to communities to try to turn this crisis around, to try to save more lives. The most important thing we can do is save lives, and that’s what we are determined to do.”
Former President Barack Obama, stated Carroll, broadly overlooked opioid addiction and overdoses during his presidential tenure.
“President Obama never even mentioned the word ‘fentanyl,'” said Carroll, “the deadly synthetic that is killing so many Americans, never mentioned it, never talked about it. We have a president here that is committed — this president believes in people [and] the American spirit — and the people willing to be compassionate to their friends and neighbors and family members.”
“Just last month, for the first time in 30 years, the data shows that we now have a decline in the number of Americans dying from addiction; first time in 30 years,” Carroll added. “Long way to go. … We know we have many more lives to save.”
Border security is integral to combating domestic and illicit drug trafficking, said Carroll.
“All of the drugs that are killing Americans, by and large, 98 percent, 99 percent, are coming from outside the U.S.,” Carroll stated, “whether it’s opioids such as heroin or fentanyl — the synthetic version, which naloxone works on — or whether it’s cocaine [or] methamphetamine — [for] which naloxone doesn’t reverse … overdoses — that is why the president is committed to securing our country, securing the southwest border and stopping these drugs from coming in.”
Opioid abuse may be linked to unemployment, noted Pollak.
“Of the eligible males — prime age males — who should be in the workforce, really, if they could find jobs, almost half — according to research that was published in 2017 — of those men are on opioids,” highlighted Pollak. “Now, I’m sure some have genuine disabilities and are taking prescriptions for pain or surgery or whatever, but almost half of the men who are basically sitting on the sidelines are basically on some sort of opioid? That is shocking, absolutely shocking.”
“Prescription opioids may explain up to half of the decline in labor force participation since 2000,” added Pollak, referencing a February-published study from the University of Tennessee examining opioid use and the workforce.
Breitbart News Tonight broadcasts live on SiriusXM Patriot channel 125 weeknights from 9:00 p.m. to midnight Eastern or 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Pacific.
Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.