Trump declaring opioid crisis a 'public health emergency' a start

by Antonio Miles October 29, 2017, 1:53
Trump declaring opioid crisis a 'public health emergency' a start

Trump's actions have been anticipated since the summer, when an opioid commission Trump convened recommended he declare "a national emergency under either the Public Health Service Act or the Stafford Act".

Trump spoke to an audience that the White House said included family members of those affected by the opioid crisis, along with an array of administration officials and elected leaders from around the country.

"We are going to overcome addiction in America", the president said.

Portman said, "While Congress has made some progress in addressing this crisis by enacting the Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act and the 21st Century CURES Act previous year, we can and must do more. The expansion of telemedicine to these areas is a game-changer and will allow people struggling with substance use disorder the ability to receive opioid treatment prescriptions without seeing a doctor, which is a huge hurdle for many West Virginians", he said.

The US uses more opioid pills per person than any other country in the world.

Although LePage applauded the president's declaration, ME has not issued its own declaration of an emergency, as six other states have done, including Maryland this year.

While states like West Virginia, Ohio and New Hampshire have carved out unenviable reputations in the headlines as bastions of prescription painkiller abuse, California has hardly been spared the ravages of this public-health crisis: more than 183,000 deaths in the state from 1999 through 2015 have been attributed to the epidemic.

The President will stop short of declaring a broader national emergency and will not make any additional federal money available to confront the crisis.

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Georgia Department of Public Health Commissioner J. Patrick O'Neal, M.D. says, "We do not know specifically how this declaration will impact Georgia". He says the order is just a first step.

The president also said the government should focus on teaching young people not to take drugs. "It is time to liberate our communities from this scourge of drug addiction".

But Democrats criticized Trump for what they characterized as a tepid response to an urgent calamity, arguing that his failure to request funding for the effort revealed a lack of seriousness about addressing the issue. "If the president truly wants to stem opioid addiction, he will bolster - not dismantle - the Affordable Care Act, support Medicaid funding, and engage agencies necessary to fight this crisis". "Until those treatments are easier to access than heroin or fentanyl, overdose deaths will remain at record-high levels". As president, he appointed an opioid commission in March, installing Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, a rival for the Republican nomination who had championed the issue during the 2016 race, as chairman.

OH is spending as much as $8.8 billion a year on fighting the opioid crisis.

Officials told reporters on the conference call that Federal Emergency Management Agency funds that would have been released under a national emergency are already exhausted from recent storms that struck Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida.

But it does not mean there will be more money to combat the crisis.

"Effective today my administration is officially declaring the opioid crisis a national public health emergency under federal law", the president said Thursday.


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