Does Donald Trump know something that the majority of Americans do not know about alcoholism?
Maybe, it’s that alcoholism claims more lives than the opioid crisis. Yet we continue to let ourselves off the hook for it because we have legalized it and made it socially acceptable. In 2012, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) ) placed New Hampshire at number 1 for the amount of alcohol consumed per capita in the United States. The rate of alcohol consumption in New Hampshire is TWICE the national average.
Well, just recently it was announced that President Donald Trump has donated his salary from the third-quarter of 2018 to the federal agency that researches alcoholism and alcohol-related problems.
Every year, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism(NIAAA) submits its budget request to the National Institute of Health(NIH). This request is incorporated into the full NIH budget request, which is sent to the President for consideration and his vote. One more stop to Congress who then considers what the President’s budget proposal and approves, modifies, or disapproves it. Once Congress finalizes the appropriate spending bill, appropriations are made to each government agency, including NIH. 2019’s budget of $469, 109.00 did not include the president’s personal salary contribution.
After reading that the president donated his salary, which was almost a quarter of the overall funding. There is a big question as to why there is so little government funding for such a deadly issue. After all, the taxing of our countries alcohol consumption is substantially profitable. Around $16 Billion in taxes in 2015 alone. If we lost more people to opioid-related overdoses than the Vietnam War and alcohol kills more people than opioids it only makes sense to appropriately fund research and adequate treatment options for alcoholics.
The White House says Trump donated $100,000 to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
Alcoholism has touched the president in a very personal way. His older brother, Fred Jr., died in 1981 after struggling with alcoholism, and the president has said he learned from his brother’s experience. We, who have dealt with our families and loved ones can certainly find empathy for the president. After all, it is no easy task to watch the people we love slowly die the painful death of active alcoholism.
Trump pledged as a candidate in 2016 to not accept the $400,000 annual presidential salary he would be due if elected. He has been making quarterly payments to the NIH since by law he must get paid for the position. Our hats off to the president for making good on his promise and contributing to a cause that really needs. Our only hope is that there will be more funds made available to tackle this often forgotten demographic of SUD.
After reading the story we are thankful for his contributions, but were left wondering why so little is funded for this deadly issue and will the president increase the overall funding?