Possible drug budget cuts concern advocates

Report: Drug Czar could be cut 95%

Budget cuts may be on the way for a White House initiative that focuses on fighting the country's drug problem.

Documents leaked Friday that suggest President Donald Trump's administration will cut 95 percent of the budget to the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).

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The leaked documents were obtained by a former Obama administration official and then handed out to the Associated Press. The documents are considered to be preliminary. The AP reports the plan is subject to change before being released later this month.

It contains numerous potential cuts including the possible reduction of half the staff that work in the ONDCP. On top of that, the high-intensity drug-trafficking area program could be eliminated. That program helps localities fight drug trafficking.

Frederick County resident Carin Miller is a member of Maryland Heroin Awareness Advocates. She told WUSA9 her husband once battled a percocet addiction. She added that her son also once struggled with percocet and heroin.

She said she believes the potential cuts are not a good idea.

"I can't believe that as a nation during the largest healthcare crisis in history that we would actually cut any funding," she said.

Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders would not confirm or deny the possibilities of drug budget cuts when pressed by reporters early Friday afternoon.

"I certainly wouldn't get ahead of the conversations about the budget," she said. "We haven't had a final document and i think it would be ridiculous to comment on a draft version of something at this point."

President Trump has previously said that he would make it a priority to fix the country's opioid crisis.

"We want to help those who have become so badly addicted," Trump said during a meeting in March. "Drug abuse has become a crippling problem throughout the United States."

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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