Chairman of the commission on opioid abuse and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, said Friday that the prescription drug crisis is “the AIDS epidemic of our generation, but even worse” and previewed a report from his panel due next week.
“This is so awful. We consume 85% of all the opioids in the world in this country. We are the most medicated country in the world, and it’s unnecessary,” Christie said in an interview on CNN’s “New Day.”
“What it has led to now is the 64,000 deaths last year. This is the medical crisis of our time. This is the AIDS epidemic of our generation, but even worse. And the other thing I don’t understand is, why aren’t people marching? I am old enough to remember the marches by AIDS patients and people that cared about that issue, in Washington, in state capitals, demanding action. These families need to be supported and that’s what the commission is all about”, Christie said.
“We have 175 people a day dying. We have a 9/11 every two and a half weeks. If a terrorist organisation was killing 175 Americans a day on our soil, we would look into how to make it stop”, he added, explaining the gravity of the situation.
The New Jersey governor, who lost to Trump in his unsuccessful 2016 campaign for president, said his commission has “a lot of work to do” but that “we are excited about issuing our final report next week.”
Christie equally noted specifically that the Trump administration was moving to change Medicaid rules in an effort to unlock additional federal funds for addiction treatment, and said that doctors with licenses to write prescriptions should receive more training on addiction and treatment.