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Speaking at the White House Opioid Summit last week, President Donald Trump suggested that executing drug dealers could be a way of halting the worrying opioid addiction crisis in the USA. Opioids killed nearly 64,000 people in 2016 (up by 21% over 2015), and the crisis is straining local health and emergency services. As we’ve reported earlier, reducing opioid misuse is a top priority for the US Food and Drug Administration in 2018.

The White House wants to make a strong statement in addressing the opioid crisis, and as such, new policy is being examined by the Trump administration that could allow prosecutors to seek the death penalty for drug dealers. During a campaign rally in Pennsylvania, President Trump extolled Asian countries as models for controlling drug epidemics and punishing dealers. He praised their zero-tolerance policies on drug dealing, saying that countries that execute drug dealers are better able to manage drug epidemics. He added that drug dealers should be treated more harshly in the USA because of the scale of misery and death that they are linked to.

“Some countries have a very, very tough penalty, the ultimate penalty”, President Trump said while speaking at the White House Opioid Summit. “The answer is you have to have strength, and you have to have toughness”, he added.

The president’s Domestic Policy Council and the Department of Justice are said to be studying potential policy changes; a final announcement could be made within weeks. One approach that the White House may take is to make trafficking large quantities of fentanyl – a powerful synthetic opioid – a capital crime because even small amounts of the drug can be fatal. Officials also are studying tougher noncapital penalties for large-scale dealers.

In the UK, AlphaBiolabs offers drug testing services. For information, call us on 0333 600 1300; email: