Weekly Opioids Roundup First Lady Visits Philadelphia Hospital to Review Effects of Opioid Withdrawal on Newborns

Updated 1 year ago White House Press Release
Weekly Opioids Roundup     First Lady Visits Philadelphia Hospital to Review Effects of Opioid Withdrawal on Newborns

First Lady Melania Trump traveled to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to visit Thomas Jefferson University Hospital to deliver welcoming remarks at the National Convening on Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) hosted by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  She was joined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar.  The convening was designed to help with the launch of a new HHS initiative with the intention of measuring the long-term health outcomes and needs of infants suffering from NAS.

Following her remarks, Mrs. Trump met with mothers and babies born with NAS.  The meeting included leadership from the medical center’s Maternal Addiction, Treatment, Education and Research (MATER) program.  MATER has been helping mothers and children since the 1970s, offering treatment programs designed to support both mothers and their babies.

Before departing, Mrs. Trump spent time visiting babies in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care nursery (ICN).  She spoke with ICN nurses and stopped into several rooms to visit and hold babies while meeting with family members.

“Thank you to the dedicated staff at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital for all they are doing to help families affected by NAS,” said First Lady Melania Trump.  “I enjoyed speaking with the mothers and staff of the MATER program.  Programs like MATER are vital in helping mothers and babies have the best opportunities and care in order to overcome NAS.  I am inspired by Dr. Loretta Finnegan’s lifetime dedication to helping children and look forward to learning more about HHS’s plans to develop and implement their new tracking system.”


Deputy Director Carroll Joined Congressman Latta in Sylvania, Ohio For a Conversation on Fentanyl Awareness for First Responders


Congressman Bob Latta and Deputy Director Jim Carroll held a conversation with first responders from 30 jurisdictions in Ohio about the dangers that fentanyl poses to first responders.


“First responders have asked for a protocol on what to do when encountering fentanyl, so I asked experts at the state and Federal level for the best information to help them do their jobs in the safest way possible. I’m hopeful that knowledge gleaned from today’s discussion will aid our first responders as they protect our communities.”Congressman Latta said.


“We still have a long way to go to turn this crisis around, but we have great people working on this problem at all levels of government and in communities across the country.  This includes everyone here today and your colleagues back home.  Your safety is paramount, which is why we’re here.” Deputy Director Jim Carroll said. He continued on to discuss a collaborative video on signs, symptoms, and treatment and personal protection from fentanyl overdoses by saying, “It’s called “Fentanyl: The Real Deal” because it’s designed to keep first responders safe and clear up misconceptions about handling fentanyl. A lot of hard work went into making this video and it is our hope that our nation’s first responders will be better prepared.  And let me tell you that work has been noticed.”


READ: Congressman Latta’s Press Release


WATCH: Fentanyl: The Real Deal


Red Ribbon Week is a national anti-drug campaign observed annually in October for young people in communities across the nation to pledge to live a drug-free lifestyle by wearing red ribbons and participating in community-wide anti-drug events. Red Ribbon Week is also a time to pay tribute to DEA Special Agent Kiki Camarena, whose death led to the creation of the Red Ribbon program. Today, millions of Americans all over the United States continue to wear red ribbons to symbolize their support for a united, drug-free nation.


“Everyone here knows that the mission of the DEA…is to bring the fight and to interrupt the flow of drugs to those people who have the addiction and those people who want to try and experiment.” Deputy Director Jim Carroll said at the rally. “But what we need to remember is that the DEA also interrupts the flow of drugs by having events just like this by reaching out to prevent drug use from ever happening.”


WATCH: DEA National Red Ribbon Rally!


DOJ Actions


Justice, Treasury, and State Departments Announce Coordinated Enforcement Efforts Against Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion: On Tuesday, the U.S. government agencies engaged in “one of the largest, most dangerous drug cartels currently operating in Mexico.” DOJ considers CJNG as one of the most dangerous transnational criminal organizations in the world, which traffics “many tons of cocaine, methamphetamine and fentanyl-laced heroin into the United States, as well as for violence.” Read more here.


“The DEA has said for three years in a row that Mexican drug cartels are the single gravest drug threat that this country faces.  President Trump recognizes this, and the day I was sworn in as Attorney General, he ordered me to dismantle transnational criminal organizations, including the cartels.  We have been faithful to that order.  Today, I am announcing 15 indictments returned against the leaders of CJNG. These indictments are our next steps—but not our last.  We will continue following President Trump’s order.” – Attorney General Sessions


Four Men and Seven Companies Indicted for Billion-Dollar Telemedicine Fraud Conspiracy, Telemedicine Company and CEO Plead Guilty in Two Fraud Schemes: “According to the indictment, the defendants set up an elaborate telemedicine scheme in which HealthRight fraudulently solicited insurance coverage information and prescriptions from consumers across the country for prescription pain creams and other similar products. The indictment states that doctors approved the prescriptions without knowing that the defendants were massively marking up the prices of the invalidly prescribed drugs, which the defendants then billed to private insurance carriers.” Read more here.



CBP Actions


Arizona’s Port of Nogales: CBP officers intercepted an attempt to smuggle a combination of packages, “which were identified as more than 26 pounds of fentanyl, worth $360,000 as well as 2.5 pounds of heroin, worth nearly $68,000.” Read more here.


Arizona’s Port of Douglas: CBP officers discovered $1.1M worth of heroin, cocaine, and suspected fentanyl hidden inside the trunk of a smuggled vehicle. Read more here.


Texas’ Laredo Port of Entry: CPB officers seized 17 pounds of heroin with a street value of 680,000. “This seizure demonstrates how the officers’ determination, utilization of technology and canines led to the discovery of this hard narcotic.” Read more here.



Regional Mediawatch


Cleveland, OH: Summit County Public Health received a three-year, $1.5 million federal grant to help people with opiate-use disorder. The grant will fund the Community Medication Assisted Treatment Program, a new program that will assist adults in using buprenorphine and naltrexone products as well as access to drug treatment and other recovery support services. Read more here.



Upcoming Events


·         October: National Substance Abuse Prevention Month and National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month

·         October 24: Federal Take Back Day

·         ***October 27: National Take Back Day***

·         November 15: National Rural Health Day

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