What President Trump's Public Health Emergency Declaration Means for the Opioid Crisis

Trump Will Finally — Finally — Declare A Public Health Emergency Over The Opioid Crisis

In March, Trump signed an executive order establishing the Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, which is headed by Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J.

He adds, "However, the additional focus it brings to the opioid epidemic may lead to ways to reduce the number of individuals and families affected by or dying from opioid overdoses every day in Georgia". The Medical Care Journal estimated past year the economic cost of opioid overdoses, dependence and abuse was almost $79 billion.

Trump made similar comments during his speech on the opioid crisis at the White House Thursday.

"The fact is, if we can teach young people - and people, generally - not to start, it's really, really easy not to take them".

The Trump administration plans to announce a new policy to overcome a "restrictive 1970s-era rule" that prevents states from providing care at certain treatment facilities with more than 16 beds for those suffering from drug addiction.

Leana Wen, health commissioner in Baltimore, which has been battling a stubborn opioid epidemic for years, said she is happy that Trump's announcement "is drawing attention" to the drug crisis. He offered no specific details, but dozens of cities, counties, and states have filed lawsuits against drug makers and drug distributors for their alleged roles in seeding the opioid crisis. Reiterating a need for a border wall between the United States and Mexico, Trump said 90% of heroin comes from south of the border.

Some were disappointed he didn't use the Stafford Act mechanism to fight the problem because it would have made more money available.

"Certainly, the hope is that this pushes people to more quickly implement some of the innovative strategies that have been developed", Haram said. Overdose deaths in ME have climbed at a rate that has been among the highest of any state over the past four years. "It is time to liberate our communities from this scourge of drug addiction".

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.

"Many of the people we've seen, or had to turn away, are having trouble getting a doctor to prescribe Suboxone, or don't have a way to pay for it", she said. One month later, the president said he would make an announcement on the opioid crisis, but later said more time was needed to coordinate the response.

"We want them to get help that they need", said President Trump.

By law, federal Medicaid dollars can not go to facilities that treat mental illness or substance use disorders if they have more than 16 beds, a policy that dates to a time when federal officials did not want to be in the practice of reimbursing state psychiatric hospitals.

The President stopped short of his promise to declare a national state of emergency, which would have given states access to funding from the federal Disaster Relief Fund.

The declaration follows a bombshell report from The Washington Post and CBS News' "60 Minutes" implicating multiple members of Congress in the passage of a bill that significantly weakened the Drug Enforcement Agency's enforcement capabilities in the opioid crisis in favor of lobbying by pharmaceutical companies.

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