Trump declares opioid emergency

Trump will declare a public health emergency to combat the opioid crisis. Here's what that will do.

The move comes almost three months after Trump's opioid epidemic commission in July said that the president should "d$3 eclare a national emergency under either the Public Health Service Act or the Stafford Act". They said the White House would soon send Congress a request for money to combat opioids, with the goal of including it in a year-end spending package.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat, called Trump's declaration "an important step" that's "long overdue" and will mean nothing if it isn't followed with immediate actions. "Nobody has seen anything like what's going on now".

"Declaring a public health crisis is a good first step".

"We can be the generation that ends the opioid epidemic", said President Trump. The death rate has kept rising, estimates show.

The number of prescription opioids legally sold almost quadrupled from 1999 to 2010, despite no change in the amount of pain that Americans reported, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

Trump's campaign promise to focus on the opioid crisis helped propel him to a crucial victory in New Hampshire's primary past year.

In Thursday's official ceremony in the East Wing of the White House, Trump told a personal story about how he became a teetotaler at his alcoholic brother's urging. On Wednesday, the president told Fox Business Network he would do so.


Officials said a national state of emergency would not have been the best approach for a long-term crisis and would not have provided authorities with resources the government does not already have.

Shortly after, Acting HHS Secretary Eric Hargan issued a public health emergency declaration on the opioid crisis, creating additional avenues to address the epidemic.

Trump said he would swiftly "review and evaluate" recommendations due next week from his opioid commission and promised to fight illegal drug shipments from countries like China.

Trump said the federal government will "pretty soon" start suing "bad actors", including people and companies that are "hurting our people".

Dr. Mary Dowd, an addiction specialist who works at the Milestone Foundation's detox center in Portland and also treats Suboxone patients at Catholic Charities, agreed that there is value in continuing an open discussion about the crisis, especially if the president is a major participant. 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. Congress is investigating the business practices of manufacturers.

"This was an idea that I had, where if we can teach young people not to take drugs", Trump said, "it's really, really easy not to take them". "There is nothing desirable about drugs". Those people did not have a choice to, as Trump said, "not to take drugs, just not to take them". But it is also fair to say that unless the next step includes allocating billions of dollars for comprehensive outreach and treatment programs for the millions of mostly poor people hit hardest by the opioid crisis, Trump will have failed to live up to his promises - and thousands of Americans will continue to die every month as a result. HIV/AIDS health funding would also be prioritised for those who need substance abuse treatment, officials said.

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