Drug expert: Trump is wrong to use opioid crisis in political fight

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A drug expert from the Mineola-based Family and Children's Association says President Donald Trump is using the opioid crisis in America as a pawn for political gains.

The president shut down the government 19 days ago over his demand for a border wall along the Mexican border. He says the wall would stop the flow of drugs into the United States.

"Every week, 300 of our citizens are killed by heroin alone, 90 percent of which floods across from our southern border," Trump said during Tuesday night's prime-time address.

Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds says that's not entirely accurate. A 2018 report by the Drug Enforcement Agency states, "Mexico remains the primary source of heroin available in the United States," but it also says, "The majority of the flow is through (private occupancy vehicles) entering the United States at legal ports of entry, followed by tractor-trailers, where the heroin is co-mingled with legal goods."

"To me, it feels like the president is actually using the opioid and heroin crisis as a means to get what he wants," Reynolds says. "And the reality is that we're losing too many kids to overdoses for them to become political pawns."

Political analyst Mike Dawidziak says he gives Trump "better marks for the presentation; I don't give him very high marks on the facts."

Democratic leaders gave their response to Trump's address Tuesday night, saying the president was "fear-mongering."

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