Attorney General Jeff Sessions thinks Americans could easily combat the growing opioid crisis if they would take over-the-counter medications for pain and “tough it out.” His comments on other aspects of drug use and abuse fly in the face of most major research.
Take two aspirin and call him in the morning.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions thinks Americans could easily combat the growing opioid crisis if they would take over-the-counter medications for pain and “tough it out.”
“I am operating on the assumption that this country prescribes too many opioids,” Sessions said Wednesday as he touted the Trump administration’s efforts to combat drug abuse and trafficking. “People need to take some aspirin sometimes and tough it out a little.”
Sessions made the overly simple suggestion during a 25-minute speech to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Tampa Bay, Fla., according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Most Read Nation & World Stories
- A 30-year-old demanded notice for eviction from his parents' house. 'Outrageous,' a judge said.
- Parents go to court to boot 30-year-old son from home
- State Department warns US citizens in China after employee suffers possible sonic attack
- People who sleep in on weekends avoid dying young, study suggests
- Pressure mounts on USC president to resign after scandals
He went on to brag about how White House chief of staff and former Marine Gen. John Kelly refused opioids after a recent minor surgery.
“He goes, ‘I’m not taking any drugs,’ ” Sessions said, imitating Kelly’s voice and drawing a round of laughter from the crowd. “But, I mean, a lot of people — you can get through these things.”
A day earlier, Sessions made a similar suggestion at a Heritage Foundation event celebrating the birthday of President Ronald Reagan.
Sessions blasted marijuana as a gateway drug and lamented the country’s more permissive attitude toward pot.
He pointed at weed use as a path toward opioid addiction, although most research shows that heroin use often starts with prescription abuse.
Opioid pills “become so addictive,” Sessions added.
“The DEA said that a huge percentage of the heroin addictions starts with prescriptions. That may be an exaggerated number — they had it as high as 80 percent — we think a lot of this is starting with marijuana and other drugs,” he said.
His comments fly in the face of most major research.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that nearly half of all teens who inject heroin reported abusing prescription opioids first.
While opioid overdoses are killing more than 175 Americans a day, a federally funded study by the RAND Corporation released this week revealed that states with legal medical marijuana have fewer opioid deaths.