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October 5, 2016

CONTACT: Sheila Vargas
Cell: (603) 731-8051


In response to comments made at a recent presidential campaign rally in Bedford, the non-partisan, non-profit advocacy group New Futures is requesting the opportunity to meet with presidential candidate Donald Trump to discuss the creation of a policy platform around combating the heroin and opioid crisis.

At his rally, Donald Trump began his speech by asking, “How does heroin work with these beautiful lakes and trees?” He then went on to promise the people of New Hampshire, a state currently in the throes of a severe heroin and opioid crisis, that he will “stop the drugs” by guaranteeing that he “will build that wall” continuing by stating, “we need to stop the poison of the youth,” and we need to “work on those people that got addicted.”

New Futures, an organization that has been working on the implementation of effective substance misuse policy in New Hampshire for over a decade, found the comments to be uninformed and not reflective of the work that needs to be done in the Granite State to address the current health crisis.

After repeated outreach and communication with the Trump campaign requesting information regarding the candidate’s plan to combat the crisis, the campaign’s policy representatives have not yet provided New Futures with any information or policy platforms. Due to these circumstances, Executive Director Linda Saunders Paquette issued the following statement.

“The heroin and opioid crisis is a national and state issue that all candidates should understand. All candidates should have policies that include a comprehensive approach to prevention, treatment and recovery of substance use disorder. The disease of addiction crosses all social and economic boundaries. New Futures wants Mr. Trump to understand that addiction affects individuals from all walks of life, whether they live in rural areas with, as he put it, beautiful lakes and trees or in urban or suburban settings. We do not “work on those people” who are suffering with addiction, we work with them because this crisis will only be alleviated through supporting our communities who are struggling with this epidemic. New Futures is extremely disappointed in Mr. Trump’s comments to date. Given the seriousness of this crisis, it is critical that Mr. Trump shares the details of his policy strategy with the public. New Futures invites Mr. Trump to meet with our policy experts and we hope he takes this as an opportunity to learn from professionals in the field and on the front lines about the policy that is needed in New Hampshire and across the country.”


Full transcript on heroin and opioid crisis comment

Timestamp - 2:15 “You know what really amazed me when I came here and I got to know so many people, and so many are in the room, so many great friends, and they said the biggest single problem they have up here is heroin – and I said how does heroin work with these beautiful lakes and trees and all of the beautiful – it doesn’t. But it’s the single biggest problem and I said that if I win, I get the nomination and I win, we’re going to build that wall and we’re going to stop that heroin from pouring in, and we’re going to stop the poison of the youth. We’re going to build the wall believe me. We are going to build the wall but we’re going to stop the poison from pouring in and destroying our youth and plenty of other people and we’re going to work on “those” people that got addicted and are addicted and I’ll tell you what we’re going to do real job for the state of New Hampshire and I owe something very special because again this was my first victory and this is where it all started, so just remember.”

The full video of presidential candidate Donald Trump’s rally can be found here: