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Ahead of president’s speech on opioid crisis, advocates promote National Drug Take Back Day on Saturday

INDIANAPOLIS – President Donald Trump is expected to release details Thursday on how the administration plans to combat the nation’s opioid epidemic.

Specifics have yet to be made public, but advocates in both the public and private sector will be closely watching what new resources may be made available.

During an impromptu news conference Wednesday afternoon, the president outlined his Thursday speech and action to come.

“We’re going to be doing a very, very important meeting sometime in the very near future on opioids in terms of declaring a national emergency which gives us power to do things we can’t right now,” Trump said.

Thursday’s speech comes days ahead of National Drug Take Back Day, a chance for people to dispose of unwanted or unused medications.

Click here to find a drop-off site near you.

People can also call 1-800-882-9539.

“We have seen a big spike in the number of people who have overdosed and died, including opioids,” Claire Fiddian-Green said, president and CEO of the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation.

Fiddian-Green said the crisis continues to worsen statewide, pointing the foundation’s research the past year and a recent survey by the National Safety Council that found 80 percent of Indiana employers now report misuse of prescription opioids among their employees.

“Everyone understands the enormity of the problem,” Fiddian-Green said. “But it’s a very complex problem, so it really does take everyone working together as much as possible trying to move in the same direction.”