U.S. President Donald Trump listens to stories from recovering drug addicts during a roundtable meeting at the White House to address the nation's growing opioid epidemic. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday (March 29) heard personal stories from the opioid addiction crisis in the United States. "Opioid overdose deaths have nearly quadrupled since 1999. This is a total epidemic," said Trump, who heard from recovering addicts during a roundtable meeting at the White House. Heroin use in the United States has risen five-fold in the past decade and dependence on the drug has more than tripled, with the biggest jumps among whites and men with low incomes and little education, researchers said on Wednesday. Whites aged 18 to 44 accounted for the biggest rise in heroin addiction, which has been fueled in part by the misuse of opioid prescription drugs. Heroin use, which includes those who have tried the drug but not become dependent on it, and addiction also rose more among unmarried adults. Although a jump was seen among women, it as was not as prominent as for men. The researchers found no differences in heroin use or addiction among the major regions of the country. The findings, published online in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, followed a statement from the American College of Physicians calling for drug addiction and substance abuse disorders to be treated as a chronic medical condition like diabetes or hypertension. It also coincided with the expected appointment of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to head a federal commission to combat the problem. Christie has declared opioid drug abuse a public health crisis.