NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE) -- The head of Tennessee’s largest association of drug rehab counselors and agencies says President Donald Trump appears to have taken a page out of Tennessee’s play book for his opioid epidemic response plan unveiled Monday.
Mary-Linden Salter heads the Tennessee Association of Alcohol, Drug and other Addiction Services.
She notes that top Trump Administration staffers were in Tennessee last year to talk to the state's treatment providers. Earlier this year Tennessee sent a delegation to the White House to confer on drug policy again.
Salter says Trump’s new plan looks very much like what Tennessee has pioneered.
“I’m very impressed with the fact that they seem to have learned a lot and that they’ve paid attention to what addiction treatment providers were telling them works, and that they seem to be basing their strategy largely on those components.”
Salter says, however, she does not believe the most controversial aspect of President Trump’s plan will work. She says addicts can’t think logically and so will not be deterred by the death penalty the president is proposing for drug dealers.
“Most, quote-unquote, traffickers are people who are in active addiction who are trying support something that basically they cannot control.”
Salter says there is one area of opioid addiction response that neither the federal government nor the State of Tennessee has yet managed to figure out. She says there’s currently no good system for insuring that individuals who overdose have immediate, emergency access to treatment.
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