Published: Fri, August 11, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Trump says opioid crisis is 'national emergency'

Trump says opioid crisis is 'national emergency'

The president is in the middle of a 17-day "working vacation" at his Bedminster golf club, and he tweeted on Monday that he's "going to NY next week for more meetings".

In a statement, the National League of Cities said the epidemic has "long warranted the status of a national health emergency", and said they welcomed the federal government's involvement.

The president's commission, which is led by Gov.

"We must act boldly to stop it", the commission wrote.

President Donald Trump said that he intends to declare a national emergency on the opioid crisis - the administration just needs to work on the official paperwork. On one hand, you have the current stock of opioid users who are addicted; the people in this population need treatment or they will simply find other, potentially deadlier opioids to use if they lose access to painkillers.

A recent report found that 142 people died from drugs abuse in the United States every day - a toll which is "equal to September 11 every three weeks".

The Trump administration has repeatedly refused to say if Trump is golfing when he visits his golf clubs - which he has done reportedly 46 times in the 200 or so days since he was inaugurated.

"The disease of addiction is a national emergency, and every delay means more loved ones will die", he said.

While large amounts of heroin have been brought from Mexico in the past decade, and New Hampshire has been hard-hit by the opioid epidemic, on Monday it became the latest state to sue the makers of OxyContin for fueling the crisis with its marketing tactics in the 1990s.

"It is a serious problem, the likes of which we have never had", the president said.

With a focus on the Reagan-era idea of "just say no to drugs" and threats to meet the crisis with tougher law enforcement measures, critics quickly denounced the president's remarks and the approach they signal. There's never been anything like what's happened to this country over the last four or five years. This is happening worldwide.

He said he'd be drawing up documents to formalize the declaration soon. New government data show an increase in opioid overdose deaths during the first three quarters of a year ago, an indication that efforts to curb the epidemic are not working.

Medicaid, which now insures some 70 million low-income Americans, historically covered primarily poor children, pregnant mothers and the low-income elderly. During that same period, opioid related deaths in OH increased more than 21%. Declaring an emergency would "empower" the administration, the commission said. Residential centers are limited under Medicaid rules on the number of drug patients they can take, and Portman and Brown have pushed to expand the number.

"While this is an important step, combating the opioid epidemic requires more than words - it requires meaningful action and investment", Brown said. Among other proposals, the report asks for greater support for law enforcement and US Postal Service efforts - through more manpower and better technology, for example - to catch fentanyl as it's transported. But these programs often aren't very robust and don't share data across state lines, which federal aid could help address. "Declare a national emergency under either the Public Health Service Act or the Stafford Act".

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