Belatedly, Trump declares opioid crisis a "national emergency"

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President Donald Trump designated the opioid crisis as a national emergency August 10, pledging to use federal funding usually reserved for natural disasters to help state and federal agencies fight the epidemic.

Opioid addiction is officially a national emergency. Former President Barack Obama declared a national emergency in the east coast during Hurricane Sandy. "We're going to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money on the opioid crisis", Trump told reporters during a brief question-and-answer session ahead of a security briefing at his golf course in Bedminster, N.J.

A commission reporting to the president said recently that declaring a state of emergency was its "first and most urgent recommendation".

The President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis last week issued a preliminary report that called the overdose death rate as September 11 every three weeks and encouraged a national emergency be declared.

George's son Zach Ziehm died from an overdose last year, after three years and four months of sobriety.

"I stand with President Trump in recognizing the extreme severity of the opioid crisis in America and applaud the steps being taken to find solutions to this devastating problem". Strangely, the commission's report didn't once mention drug trafficking through the "southern border;" in fact, the report states: "We have an enormous problem that is often not beginning on street corners; it is starting in doctor's offices and hospitals in every state in our nation".

"It is a national emergency and the president has confirmed that through his words and actions today, and he deserves great credit for doing so", Christie said in a statement released by his spokesman.

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The broad framework, which leaves wide scope for disagreement, has critics raising doubts about how effective the COC will be.

This is a developing story.

Still, Price stressed that "all things" were "on the table for the president".

"And I have to say this in all fairness, this is a worldwide problem", Mr. Trump said Thursday.

"The recent report by the Commission on Drug Addiction and Opioid Abuse was further evidence of the severity of this epidemic".

Frankly, Trump's waffling - not to mention the dated approach to opioid addiction he initially espoused - was an insult to Christie's work.

The commission that recommended the emergency declaration also plans to explore issues of youth opioid use, its preliminary report said.

An emergency declaration regarding a public health crisis can put pressure on Congress to increase funding and resources to help combat the issue.

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