Trump to declare opioids a public health emergency

29 October, 2017, 02:44 | Author: Leticia Riley
  • President Trump said in August 2017 that he believed the opioid crisis constitutes a national emergency but did not issue any formal declaration

James Curtin, CEO of addiction rehab network Daytop, which operates eight rehab centers in the state, said that Trump's announcement needs to be accompanied by giving the U.S. Congress the power to give funding to opioid addiction treatment programs.

Officials repeatedly said they plan to roll out even more initiatives to address the crisis in the coming days and weeks. And the numbers have been climbing steadily for years: More than 4,000 were in state-funded treatment for opioid abuse in 2013 - up from 399 in 2000.

The money is needed to expand treatment for people with substance abuse disorders and to provide more of the antidote naloxone to first responders and the public, Wen said.

Trump said "it's really, really easy" not to use drugs if you never start - and suggested public education would be an important strategy for the government.

Regarding funding to combat the public health emergency, she said, "We need more money, but we need a framework". Those limits could also be adjusted under a national emergency declaration.

"I learned because of Fred; I learned", Trump said. White House officials said the public health route was more appropriate because the other option was designed for natural disasters like hurricanes. "We strongly urge the Administration to act further and release additional monies to bring this emergency to an end".

Trump made similar comments during his speech on the opioid crisis at the White House Thursday. Vermont for years now has had the second-highest per-capita rate of all states for treatment admissions for prescription opioids; only Maine's is higher. They said any national resources and attention that could be devoted to the issue will help save lives.

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

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ETMC Emergency Room Dr. Bradley King says, "We don't have the numbers of opioid overdose deaths, but we certainly have a problem with opioid abuse here". "This is not the way to fight an epidemic of this magnitude".

"I have spoken to the president in depth about this epidemic and the devastating impact it is having on our communities in OH and around the country, and I know he is committed to addressing it in a comprehensive way", said a statement from Portman, who urged Congress to provide more resources to fight the epidemic. Some critics, including Democratic lawmakers, said it was meaningless without additional funding.

"I think it's the best way for us to get the best results", Capito said.

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 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.

She also said Medicaid expansion and the drug treatment services provided under the Affordable Care Act that Trump has tried to repeal "have gone a long way to providing invaluable care to those in the grips of addiction".

But it still comes down to resources, she said, and she'd like to see more funding committed.


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