White House counselor Kellyanne Conway echoed President Trump’s remarks on drug abuse Thursday, saying the best way to stop people from dying from drug abuse is by “not starting in the first place."
“The president echoed the message that many health-care providers and elected officials say, which is, the best way to stop people from dying from overdoses and drug abuse is by not starting in the first place,” Conway said in an appearance on Fox News after Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency.
“That’s a big core message for our youth that the first lady is continuing to push with prevention education,” Conway continued.
Trump made similar comments during his speech on the opioid crisis at the White House Thursday.
“That's what I think is so important. This was an idea that I had, where if we can teach young people not to take drugs — just not to take them,” Trump said. “The fact is, if we can teach young people — and people, generally — not to start, it's really, really easy not to take them.”
Trump declared the crisis a public health emergency, saying Americans “cannot allow this to continue.”
Trump’s declaration won’t free up much additional funding, but gives acting Health and Human Services Secretary Eric Hargan leeway to loosen certain regulations that he otherwise would not be able to.
Trump’s declaration will also expand access to telemedicine for people in remote areas and shift resources in HIV/AIDS programs to allow people in those programs to receive substance abuse disorder treatments.
Trump opted to declare the crisis a public health emergency instead of a national emergency, which was an option his opioid commission recommended. A public health emergency myst be renewed every 90 days until it’s no longer needed.