« Lots more impressive work in Teen Vogue's "Kids Incarcerated" series | Main | Is Prez Trump making a capital prosecution for NYC terror killer harder with his death penalty tweets? »

November 2, 2017

Opioid Crisis Commission advocates expanded federal drug court programs and lots of other (mostly public health) stuff

Prez Trump's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis issued this big final report yesterday, and the heart of the report's themes and recommendations are usefully summarized in this extended letter to Prez Trump penned by Commission Chair Chris Christie.  This article in The Hill, headlined "Trump opioid commission backs more drug courts, media blitz," provides this even tighter summary, including the one recommendation that may be of focused interest and concern for sentencing fans:

President Trump’s opioid commission laid out 56 recommendations for how the nation should combat the epidemic, including drug courts and a national media campaign, days after the crisis was declared a national public health emergency.  Members voted to approve the report, which was due Nov. 1, at the end of a meeting on Wednesday.

The commission didn’t weigh in on the specific amount of money needed to combat the health crisis. President Trump's declaration of a public health emergency, which doesn't free up millions of dollars in extra cash, sparked calls for more funding by Democrats and advocacy groups.  But the report calls on Congress to determine the funding required....

Advocacy groups argue a robust infusion of federal dollars is needed to combat the epidemic of prescription painkiller and heroin overdose deaths plaguing the nation. Without more money, they say, the emergency declaration won’t make a significant dent in the crisis. The public health emergency fund doesn’t have much left — about $57,000. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), who helms the commission, predicted Trump will initially ask “for billions of dollars to deal with this.”...

Here are some of the commission’s recommendations:

— A coordinated system: The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) should create a system to track all federally funded initiatives and invest only in effective programs. “We are operating blindly today; ONDCP must establish a system of tracking and accountability,” the report notes.

— A media campaign: The White House should fund and collaborate on a multiplatform media campaign, and the commission noted a similar one occurred during the AIDS public health crisis. It should address “the hazards of substance use, the danger of opioids, and stigma.”

– Opioid prescribing: The Department of Health and Human Services should develop a “national curriculum and standard of care” on prescribing prescription painkillers. It should supplement previous guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

— Improve prescription drug monitoring programs. The Department of Justice should fund and create a hub to share data on prescribing and dispensing.

— Fentanyl: The commission wants to enhance sentencing for trafficking of this potent synthetic opioid.

November 2, 2017 at 03:44 PM | Permalink


I am going to first warn the DEA, then I want to go after it in the International Court, for their crime against humanity.

If I am found all shot by cops, for taking out my wallet to show ID, with their mistaking it for a gun, you will know the reason why.

Posted by: David Behar | Nov 2, 2017 5:12:22 PM

The report demonstrates an extremely unsophisticated understanding of drug courts generally, and further, given that not a single one of the existing front-end federal drug courts has been evaluated, it seems premature to be recommending them for all districts.

Posted by: Christine Scott-Hayward | Nov 2, 2017 11:04:37 PM

As punishment has declined, and treatment has increased, the bodies have piled up. Thank the Harvard Law radicalized lawyer for the high pile of bodies.

Alcohol use was punished in Vietnam. Opiates were overlooked. The rate of opiate addition was 15% among our soldiers.

They return to the US, where opiate use is punished, alcohol use is advertised. The rare of opiate use drops 95%. The opiate users are very similar to non-military opiate users.

Punishment is effective in addiction. So naturally the Harvard Law radicalized lawyer goes on a jihad against punishment.

Posted by: David Behar | Nov 2, 2017 11:26:40 PM

Post a comment

In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB