Former Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx doesn’t bury the lede in a critical op-ed decrying the Trump administration’s handling of the opioid crisis: “Heroin nearly killed me. As a matter of fact, it did: For two minutes in 1987 I was pronounced clinically dead from an overdose.”
The Los Angeles Times ran the headline: “Take it from a recovering addict, a lot more could be done to end the opioid crisis.” Sixx’s 2007 autobiography, The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star, is full of diary entries from when he struggled with addiction. But he has been sober for 16 years, and he’s been an advocate for a decade. He criticized Donald Trump for cutting the 2018 Medicaid budget while, at the same time, making a “show of concern” for the opioid crisis.
He cites statistics that claim overdoses kill more Americans than car crashes and gun homicides combined. Then he refers to the interim report put together by Trump’s opioid commission, which he says “spells out the right approach” by emphasizing “treatment, education about pain management for doctors, research and data collection, and rational ‘supply reduction.’”
Sixx calls on the government to “provide sufficient funding for Medicaid” in the 2018 budget, given that 30 percent of Americans in treatment for opioid addiction rely on Medicaid. He also said the failed Graham-Cassidy bill — which sought to repeal the Affordable Care Act — would have placed opioid addiction at risk for being considered a pre-existing condition.
Toward the end of the op-ed, Sixx said that inaction in the face of the opioid crisis sends this message: “You aren’t worth saving.” He counters this idea, making it clear that addicts are worth saving.
Read his full essay here.