By Rich Zeoli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –  Regarding the ongoing battle against opioid addiction in this country, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tom Price, says its been decades where individuals have felt that anybody that was addicted was simply breaking the law, as opposed to suffering from a chronic disease.  Price spoke with Rich Zeoli on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT saying that addiction is a disease, and the vast majority of individuals who are addicted don’t have a choice in the matter. They are suffering from a disease and need treatment.

“And that’s the way you approach this so you can get folks cured. You can’t punish people out of a disease, it just doesn’t work that way. A lot of the treatment science has come so far so that we know that the vast majority of folks if they have access, and they are given the kind of opportunity, and have the will to be able to get through this then, they are able to move through this phase of their life with this disease and get treatment so that they can recover and move on again to those productive lives.”

Price says the opioid crisis is a crisis, and President Donald Trump believes it’s a crisis, a national emergency.  The Department of Health and Human Services and others within the Trump administration who are charged in this area have been working on exactly what that means.

“In terms of resources that will be brought to bear, in terms of assets that will brought to bear, what will structure of a team coming together to battle this emerging challenge look like. And I think the battle be done in short order so the President, as I say is absolutely committed to making certain that he stands up for those who need help in this area, and were working diligently to make sure it happens.”