Trump Declares Opioid Crisis A "National Emergency"

14 August, 2017, 03:16 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Ted S. Warren  AP

"The scourge of opioid addiction". I've watched friends lose loved ones and close friends. "What these people need is treatment".

They also wanted the president to reduce the funding for addiction treatment, research, and prevention efforts.

I'm not alone or even an outlier anymore.

New Jersey Governor #Chris Christie, who heads the Trump opioid commission, said that the importance of the declaration was based on the fact that Americans are dying due to the crisis, CNN reported.

He claimed that the administration is doing so, but one of Trump's principal policies belies that claim. Or at least known somebody who knew somebody. Some of them are as young as 12 years old.

"Strong law enforcement is absolutely vital to having a drug-free society", Trump said. "Here at my health department, it's always a struggle to come up with enough".

Then, on Thursday, Trump declared opioid addiction a national emergency.

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Urging against Republican-led efforts to repeal the controversial health care law, the congressman warned that dismantling the ACA would not just put the opioid addiction treatment funds in jeopardy, but also impact the almost 3 million Americans with substance use disorders covered under its Medicaid expansion provision.

Perhaps President Trump forgot what he said, too, or maybe the emergency declaration was already in the works.

While not giving specifics, declaring a national emergency will allow for federal funds to be allocated to the problem. At most, the administration was making noise around the issue.

You can read the commission's recommendations here. But the Trump administration is pushing for tougher criminal penalties. It also omits the role of prescription drugs in feeding the problem. So if we can keep them from going on and maybe by talking to youth and telling them: "'No good, really bad for you in every way'". Reingold worked with the World Health Organization in 2009 during the bird flu epidemic and noted that an emergency declaration brings the necessary attention and resources to a serious problem.

That can range from FEMA money becoming available, to Medicaid restrictions loosening to let more people access care, to Congress appropriating money for the cause. But it was all talk, and no action.

Dr. Arthur Reingold, a professor of epidemiology at the University of California-Berkeley, applauded Trump's initiative.

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