Trump Declares Opioid Epidemic a National Emergency

US President Donald Trump

While we appreciate that the Commission on Combatting Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis led by Governor Chris Christie finally released its interim report on July 31st, we remain concerned that the Trump Administration has not done enough to prioritize the opioid epidemic.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., plans to make a statement when the emergency is officially declared, but a representative with his office said he is "encouraged" by Trump's announcement.

American opioid addicts have told ITV news how they slid into drugs abouse - with many initially getting hooked on legally-prescribed painkillers. In 2015, drug overdoses topped annual deaths from auto crashes, gun violence, and even HIV/AIDS during that epidemic's peak in 1995.

Donald Trump's ignorance is weakening the presidency and an embarrassment to every single American.

The report also called on Washington to grant waiver approvals to all 50 states to eliminate barriers and allow treatment at Medicaid-funded residential facilities, a move it said would rapidly increase treatment capacity. "For example, now Medicaid can't reimburse drug treatment in large residential facilities (16 or more beds)".

Therein lies the problem: We don't need another commission to know what to do to ease the opioid crisis. Opioid use disorder is just like any other chronic disease - like diabetes, like hypertension - and needs to be treated in the same manner.

She lost a son, a grandson and a son's girlfriend to drug overdoses.

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Mandate education initiatives, with the help of medical schools and by amending the Controlled Substances Act, to require better training for prescribers about the treatment of pain and addiction.

With a focus on the Reagan-era idea of "just say no to drugs" and threats to meet the crisis with tougher law enforcement measures, critics quickly denounced the president's remarks and the approach they signal.

"Additional resources from the federal government will help hard-hit states like OH", he said in a written statement.

Trump spoke often on the campaign trail about the devastation that opioid addiction has caused in many communities, particularly rural, lower-income and working-class areas. The current drug crisis began in part as doctors sought to tackle another major medical problem: 100 million USA adults suffer from chronic pain. But we have a responsibility to do more and we must act. Are we seeing the same thing happen here, where there's being - where there's going to be renewed emphasis on the law enforcement part of dealing with the drug epidemic?

"The opioid crisis is an emergency", Trump answered, according to a pool report, "and I'm saying officially right now it is an emergency". You have encouraged us in our mission - to provide quality news and watchdog journalism.

A full response to the opioid epidemic would address both of these issues. "I hope that the administration works quickly and prudently to finally take the steps necessary to call this opioid epidemic what it is - a national emergency - and follow-up with meaningful action and investment".

Jose Benitez, the executive director at Prevention Point, the needle exchange and advocacy group that serves people suffering from addiction in Kensington, said Thursday that he hoped the declaration would bring federal resources and wider attention to the crisis.

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