In Louisville, US drug czar says border wall can help stop flow of illegal drugs
By Lawrence Smith
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The man in charge of fighting the America's drug epidemic said President Trump's controversial border will reduce the influx of illegal drugs into the country.
Jim Carroll, the director of the Office of Drug Control Policy, commented on the proposed wall during a visit to a drug treatment facility in Louisville.
“Hundreds of thousands of pounds are coming in between ports of entry,” said Carroll. “So, that wall will undoubtedly stop the flow of drugs in those locations, and force people to the ports of entry where there's more law enforcement located.”
But Carroll also said winning the opioid battle will take more than just a wall.
He toured the Volunteers of America Freedom House which provides comprehensive services for veterans and pregnant women, at the invitation of Kentucky U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell.
Carroll said the 34 billion federal dollars being spent to fight the opioid crisis are equally balanced between law enforcement and treatment centers such as Freedom House.
He said the approach appears to be working.
“What we're seeing nationally is a plateauing of the number of people dying,” said Carroll.
Emilee Ward of Louisville told WDRB News she became addicted to opioids while she was a freshman at the University of Louisville.
“I was introduced to heroin, and I pretty quickly started using that, and just went in a downward spiral.
Ward said she got pregnant, and eventually made her way to Freedom House. She credited it with saving her life.
“I really think that I would be dead. Honestly. I mean, I would have overdosed a long time ago,” she said.
Ward is far from the politics of border security, but said - beyond law enforcement - she hopes lawmakers continue to fund programs such as Freedom House.
“That desire and that urge is so overwhelming, that without the proper tools, people don't know how to stop,” she said.
Carroll said the administration will continue to fight the crisis on multiple fronts, but said the wall needs to be part of the strategy.
“This is clearly needed to save American lives,” he said.
McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, opposed a resolution blocking President Trump's emergency declaration to fund the wall.
The resolution passed, but the President vetoed it on Friday.