Statement from Gary Mendell regarding President Trump's Opioid Task Force

WASHINGTON – President Donald J. Trump today announced the creation of a commission to address the opioid epidemic tasked with reviewing current policies and formulating a set of recommendations for federal funding and treatment. The commission will be led by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and will also include Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin and Defense Secretary James Mattis, among others.

Gary Mendell, the founder and CEO of Shatterproof, released this statement:

“I applaud President Trump for taking the significant step in creating this commission to help address the opioid epidemic. Every day, hundreds of American families lose a loved one struggling with substance use disorder and enough is enough.

“I urge the commission to acknowledge the source of the problem – the over-prescription of addictive medications – and recognize that stricter criminal penalties for substance abuse would only do more harm than good. If we are truly going to tackle the opioid epidemic, it is critical that the commission brings all parties to the table, including pharmaceutical companies and prescribers. While money alone will not solve the problem, we must make sure that federal funding is sufficient to maintain robust treatment and recovery programs for all who need them. I look forward to working with the commission as it fulfills its important mission to help save the lives of our fellow citizens.”

Please contact Kristen Hernandez at if you would like to interview Gary Mendell or any of Shatterproof’s nationwide network of Ambassadors.

About Gary Mendell:

Gary Mendell is the founder and CEO of Shatterproof. Gary founded Shatterproof to spare others the tragedy his family suffered with the loss of his son Brian to addiction in 2011. Gary is an experienced businessman and CEO, who founded HEI Hotels & Resorts and is the former president of Starwood Lodging Trust.

About Shatterproof:

Shatterproof is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the devastation the disease of addiction causes families. Shatterproof works to end the stigma and foster a community of support for families. Shatterproof provides families with evidence-based resources to support prevention, treatment and recovery. Shatterproof advocates for changes in policy at the federal and state level and supports the development and implementation of evidence-based solutions for substance-use disorders.

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