Former U.S. Attorney Reacts to President's Stand on Drugs - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

Former U.S. Attorney Reacts to President's Stand on Drugs

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WHEELING, W.Va -

It's a battle he's been in for years, and we're sitting down with a member of the former West Virginia Drug Task Force team after President Trump has declared this a national emergency.

During a press conference in New Jersey Thursday afternoon opioid crisis," the president said.president Trump took a stand against the nation's drug crisis, "It's a national emergency. We're going to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money on the

Days after New Jersey Governor Chris Christie recommended President Trump place our country in a state of emergency the President decided it was time to take action, "This is happening worldwide. But this is a national emergency and we are drawing documents now to so attest," said president Trump.

In the latest studies done by the American Society of Addiction Medicine, opioid use was the leading cause of overdose deaths throughout the United States; taking over 20,000 lives during 2015, "Nobody is safe from this epidemic that threatens young and old, rich and poor, urban and rural communities. Everybody is threatened. It is a problem with the likes of which we have not seen," the president added. 

Former US Attorney for the Northern District William Ihlenfeld said a big part of the problem is a lack of leadership from the national level since there is no drug tzar in place at this time. He believes New Jersey Governor Chris Christie isn't the answer for President Trump's drug commission, "Governor Christie, with all do respect, really knows the issue but he's got a state to run. One of the most heavily populated states in the country. He's trying to run this commission on the side; we need someone who's going to be working on this issue seven days a week," Ihlenfeld said.

In Wheeling, just last week we saw six overdoses in the course of three hours, Ihlenfeld said with the lack of leadership we see things need to be done here at the local level, "Building a wall isn't going to fix this problem. Building a wall will not stop the flow of drugs into our country from Mexico or China that's just rhetoric from Washington that won't make any difference here in the Ohio Valley. It's at the local level, and local leaders are going after this problem," Ihlenfeld added. 

Ihlenfeld also said, doctors, do notice the rising issue, and are starting to find alternative ways to treat pain.

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