Gov. Christie: Interdiction At The Border And Better Education Are Key To Solving Opioid Crisis


Jake Tapper: You are an expert on the opioid epidemic or in government trying to push solutions. How much of it is drug dealers from Mexico or from wherever? And how much of it is big Pharma pushing opioids in a way that is irresponsible?

Governor Christie: Well, I think it has been both, Jake. There is no doubt that the cheap, pure heroin that is coming up from over our southern border is replacing opioids. The dynamic is this from people who have really studied it and we have in New Jersey. Four out of every five heroin addicts start on prescription opioids. Four out of five.

Jake Tapper: Right, they get a prescription from the doctor, they hurt themselves, they are in some sort of pain.

Governor Christie: And they get addicted almost immediately. The people who have an addictive personality or an addictive disorder, they get addicted almost immediately. But then they can't get the opioids or they're too expensive and the problem that the President is talking about is the cheap, pure heroin that is coming up, that is so much cheaper than the opioids, Jake, that people immediately then become heroin addicts. With all of the criminal aspects that are attached to that, with the infectious aspects that come to that and the death, I mean in New Jersey last year, four times the number of people who were murdered by a gun died of opioid overdoses.

Jake Tapper: It’s insane.

Governor Christie: Three times the number of people who died in an automobile accident died of an opioid- three times the number of people who died in an automobile accident were killed by an overdose of opioids. So, it’s a combination of the two and I think what we need to do, and that’s why in New Jersey we now have a law that says when you go first to a doctor and you get opioids, no more than a five-day supply on your first prescription. They were giving 30 day supplies of this stuff and it gets people hooked and it’s one of the things we have to deal with. We need to deal with interdiction at the border, we need to deal with much better education of our kids. We’re back in the 70’s in education in terms of the mode. They made pamphlets at the Department of Education.

Jake Tapper: Yea

Governor Christie: We have young children -

Jake Tapper: Right-

Governor Christie: They don’t read pamphlets.

Jake Tapper: No, pamphlets are not the way to do it.

Governor Christie: If it’s not on their smartphone-

Jake Tapper: Yea -

Governor Christie: If it’s not part of social media, they don’t get it. I'm going to reach out to our folks and our friends in social media to say, how can you help in educating kids about the dangers of opioids, the dangers of drugs? And the third piece is treatment. We need to make treatment less stigmatized and more broadly available to people.

Jake Tapper: And the step down program so people can get off the prescription pain killers instead of going into heroin.

Governor Christie: And sometimes its medication-assisted treatment, as well Jake, that’s really important.

Jake Tapper: You’ll come back and talk more about the opioid epidemic I hope-

Governor Christie: Absolutely.

Jake Tapper: Because we want to cover it.

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Press Contact:
Brian Murray

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