Tom Price

HHS Sec. Tom Price speaking at a press conference at the state Capitol.
Ashton Marra / WVPB

Remarks by a top U.S. health official have reignited a quarrel in the world of addiction and recovery: Does treating opioid addiction with medication save lives? Or does it trade one addiction for another?

Health Secretary Tom Price's recent comments — one replying to a reporter's question, the other in a newspaper op-ed — waver between two strongly held views.

Trump Administration’s Addiction Crisis ‘Listening Tour’ Gets An Earful

May 19, 2017
HHS Sec. Tom Price speaking at a press conference at the state Capitol.
Ashton Marra / WVPB

Trump administration officials have been visiting parts of the country affected by the opioid addiction crisis, including the Ohio Valley region. The administration called it a “listening tour,” and they got an earful in events marked by protests and controversies.

Dan Heyman
John Raby / AP

A West Virginia journalist arrested after repeatedly asking U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price a question said he did nothing wrong, and his attorney and the media outlet's founder want the charge dropped.

Reporter Daniel Ralph Heyman, who works for the independent Public News Service, was arrested by police at the state Capitol in Charleston during Price's visit Tuesday.

A reporter in West Virginia was arrested and charged with a crime Tuesday after he repeatedly attempted to question Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.

Price was walking through a hallway in the state Capitol, which he was visiting with Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway as part of a "listening tour" on the opioid crisis. Several protesters were gathered in the hallway, as was Dan Heyman, a reporter for the Public News Service.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, U.S. Health and Human Resources Secretary Tom Price talks with West Virginia officials about the state's opioid addiction crisis during a stop on a Trump Administration listening tour.

We also hear from two West Virginia University addiction specialists about the language of addiction and how it affects treatment outcomes.

West Virginia Legislative Photography

A West Virginia reporter was arrested at the state Capitol Tuesday before a meeting held by U.S. Health and Human Services Sec. Tom Price.

Dan Heyman of the Public News Service was charged with a misdemeanor offense of willfully disrupting a governmental process.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting


West Virginia’s opioid overdose death rate is two and a half times the national average, the highest in the country. Last year, 864 West Virginians died from an overdose, up by more than 17 percent from the year prior.

 

West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Sec. Bill Crouch shared those statistics at a press conference Tuesday. Crouch hosted U.S. Health and Human Services Sec. Tom Price for a closed-door meeting about the state’s struggle with substance abuse and what the federal government can do to help.

Evan Vucci, Frank Franklin II / Associated Press

Two top officials in the Trump administration have announced stops in West Virginia this week.

Pres. Donald Trump's Health and Human Resources Sec. Tom Price and Attorney General Jeff Sessions will be in Charleston. Both stops focus on the nation's opioid epidemic.

Adobe Stock

Yesterday the Congressional Budget Office released a report that analyzes the House of Representative's proposed replacement of the Affordable Care Act. The office projects that the new bill would leave 24 million people uninsured by 2026.

Such an increase could have big consequences for the more than 2 million people addicted to pain medication across the United States, including more than 200,000 in the Ohio Valley Region.