Kellyanne Conway named 'opioid czar' of United States

Trump Asked Kellyanne Conway To Tackle The Opioid Crisis & Here's Why Experts Are So Worried Alex Wong  Getty Images News  Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway to lead administration's...

The Trump administration has tapped White House counselor Kellyanne Conway to lead its efforts against the opioid crisis. The fund - which was made available to address the crisis when President Trump declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency in October - now holds $66,000. She was also a paid advisor for select candidates, including Mike Pence, Dan Quayle, Newt Gingrich, Fred Thompson and Ted Cruz, before joining forces with Donald Trump toward the end of his presidential campaign.

Beyond the new appointment, the White House has yet to release a strategy plan, name the head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy or request money to pay for the public health issue.

Andrew Kolodny, MD, director of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing and co-director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative at Brandeis University's Heller School in Waltham, Mass., told BuzzFeed News the move is a "positive sign".

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According to BuzzFeed, Sessions emphasized Conway's public relations skills at the news conference, "perhaps signaling an administration push for public service announcements aimed at changing public attitudes toward opioid addiction".

Sessions described this drug crisis as "the deadliest drug crisis in American history."

At the news conference, Sessions indicated he was "dubious" about a law passed a year ago that reduced DEA powers in the opioid fight.

The law also weakened DEA orders to show cause that are used when companies are accused of failing to report suspicious narcotics orders.


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