Opioid Epidemic A 'National Emergency'

Trump Vacation

Trump's surprise announcement came two days after he vowed the US would "win" the fight against the epidemic but stopped short of acting on the recommendation of the presidential opioid commission to "declare a national emergency".

The president made the comments Thursday and said, "We're going to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money on the opioid crisis". President Donald Trump said he's ready to declare opioid addiction a national emergency, which could clear the way for extra funding and government authority to address a wave of overdose deaths. But last week, the commission issued a preliminary report urging the president to immediately "declare a national emergency under either the Public Health Service Act or the Stafford Act".

In its report, Trump's opioid commission - led by New Jersey governor Chris Christie - recommended against the tough-on-crime measures that Trump has often proposed as solutions to the problem. Most opioid-overdose deaths are linked to prescription pain pills, though the use of heroin is growing rapidly, accounting for nearly 13,000 deaths in 2015, according to Nida.

Declaring a national emergency was the top recommendation of the president's Commission on Combatting Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, which is chaired by Christie and released an interim, 10-page report July 31. He said federal drug prosecutions have dropped but promised he would "be bringing them up rapidly".

He said he'd be drawing up documents to formalize the declaration soon.

As per the statistics provided by Bharara, nearly 80 Americans die from opioid overdoses every day: almost 550 a week, 2,400 a month, 30,000 a year.

As a member of the Health and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittees, Collins has participated in six subcommittee hearings discussing the government and states responses to the crisis, fentanyl, and professional and academic perspectives.

The report issued last week states: "The opioid epidemic we are facing is unparalleled".

He said the Drug Enforcement Administration might be able to use the emergency to require prescriber education for doctors and others who dispense opioids.

Declaring a national emergency could have a few different effects on the opioid crisis: it could free up federal money from the Disaster Relief Fund for states and cities to treat addiction and overdoses, for instance. These declarations have helped expand access to naloxone, a medication that can revive people who have overdosed, according to the Network for Public Health Law. "It's a national emergency".

National estimates found almost 33,000 people died in 2015 due to opioid overdose, but several reports have found even those numbers could be severely underreported, meaning the total number of overdoses could be much higher. "We must continue to fully fund important programs on prevention, treatment and recovery".

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