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President Trump Combats Nationwide Opioid Crisis

March 19, 2018 08:21 PM

(ABC 6 News)-- The President has unveiled his plan to fight the opioid crisis and the plan includes the death penalty for drug traffickers. The president talked about his plan today in New Hampshire, a state hit hard by the opioid crisis.

"Everyday 116 Americans die from an opioid-related overdoes," said President Trump.

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During Monday’s visit to New Hampshire, President Trump said it's time to get tough on drug dealers.

"Some of these drugs dealers will kill thousands of people during their lifetime, thousands of people," the President said. 

The death penalty is illegal in 19 states including Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin. However, it is legal in South Dakota.

"The death penalty overall is something that is highly controversial in 2018," said Eric Spagenski, the director at Common Ground in Rochester.

Spagenski doesn't see how the death penalty will help the problem long-term.

"A lot of people get into drug sales and then trafficking as well, simply as their addiction is being exploited by more than likely people outside of our borders, ultimately," he said.

Eric stated long-term recovery is really where the focus should be.

"If policy starts to evolve to develop long-term supports for individuals; ongoing check-ups so to say with substance abuse treatment facilities and they're able to be services that are reimbursed, that would only benefit the client,” Spagenski said.

Other parts of the President’s plan include a nationwide public awareness campaign, to cut drug flow, and expand treatment options.

"This is about winning a very, very tough problem and if we don't get very tough on these dealers it's not going to happen, folks," said President Trump.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 42,000 people died from opioid use including fentanyl, heroin and prescription drugs in 2016.

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Marissa Collins

Copyright 2018 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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