Published: Sun, October 29, 2017
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

Trump to Declare Public Health Emergency for Opioid Crisis

Trump to Declare Public Health Emergency for Opioid Crisis

"I hope Congress will follow the President's "call to action" and respond in kind by working through the barriers that prevent the fast and efficient flow of funds to communities that need the most help".

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. These include remote prescribing of medicine commonly used for substance abuse or mental health treatment. He shared the story of his brother Fred, who he said had struggled with alcohol addiction throughout his life and implored Trump never to take a drink - advice the president said he had heeded.

Federal health officials are going to launch a task force to come up with best practices for treating pain, Trump announced. It is time to liberate our communities from this scourge of drug addiction, never been this way.

26 declaration that the opioid crisis is a federal health emergency, without allocating additional dollars to address the issue, may ultimately result in a cut to spending on HIV/AIDS prevention and treatments, some experts fear.

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Portman said, "There is no doubt that this heroin and prescription drug epidemic is a national crisis, and it's getting worse, not better".

But officials told reporters on the conference call Thursday that those funds under the Federal Emergency Management Agency have been almost exhausted after recent storms struck Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida.

So President Donald Trump´s failure this week to formally declare the overdose epidemic a "national emergency" - words that would have freed up more federal funds to tackle the crisis - was disappointing for him.

Republicans praised the efforts, while Democrats criticized the lack of funding. Edward J. Markey (D-MA).

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In his remarks, Trump said the U.S. Postal Service and Department of Homeland Security were "strengthening the inspection of packages coming into our country to hold back the flood of cheap and deadly fentanyl, a synthetic opioid manufactured in China". "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.

"We can be the generation that ends the opioid epidemic - we can do it", he said in a speech at the White House.

"We strongly urge the administration to release additional money to confront this emergency", Namey said.

Largely as a result of these prescriptions and a surge in heroin supplies, almost 12 million people are thought to yearly misuse opioids nationwide, with parts of the Deep South, Appalachia, and New England hit particularly hard by overdoses as a result.

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The order falls short of what the president's own advisory panel called for, and what state health officials were hoping for to address the crisis.

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