Trump suggests building wall along Mexican border to curb heroin addiction in US

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"If I win, I'm going to stop it," Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said Monday of the U.S. heroin and painkiller epidemic, which claims the lives of tens of thousands of people a year, according to STAT. How would Mr. Trump stop it? He said he would "cut off the source, build a wall."

U.S. deaths related to opioid pain relievers and heroin have nearly quadrupled since 1999. However, many of those deaths have been connected to prescription painkillers prescribed by American physicians.

U.S. experts say Americans are increasingly using fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is being shipped to the U.S. from Mexico and by Chinese suppliers, according to the report.

Mr. Trump, who has only spoken about drug addiction a few times during the presidential race, discussed Monday some of the conversations he had with people in New Hampshire during the state's primaries.

"I'd say, 'This doesn't look like it's a heroin problem-type place.' They'd say, 'Mr. Trump, it is flowing across our southern border. It's cheaper than candy. Our kids are being poisoned,'" said Mr. Trump, according to STAT. "So I'd say, 'Where do you think it comes from? What's the source?'"

He said the people in New Hampshire told him, "It comes from the southern border."

Mr. Trump did not comment on the rate of prescription painkiller abuse or the growing popularity of fentanyl as an alternative or supplement to heroin, but he did touch on the growing need to fund addiction recovery systems, saying he would "spend the money" to help addicted Americans access treatment.

"It's very hard to get out of that addiction of heroin," he said, according to the report. "That's the other thing we're going to do: We're going to take all of these kids — and people, not just kids — that are totally addicted and they can't break it. We're going to work with them, we're going to spend the money, we're gonna get that habit broken."

 

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