Trump vows to 'win' against opioids, but doesn't declare national emergency

10 August, 2017, 00:39 | Author: Irene Delgado
  • An estimated 2.4 million individuals in the US are currently experiencing problematic opioid use

Amid consideration of the severity of the country's drug epidemic, a member of President Donald Trump's administration has announced that the president will not declare a state of emergency regarding the nationwide opioid crisis. He also said that, "the administration can do the same sorts of things without declaring an emergency".

Having declared the state of emergency concerning the opioid crisis would have jump-started an immediate response to deal with the ongoing issue, including providing additional resources from the federal government to states hardest hit. "Look, when you have the capacity of Yankee Stadium or Dodger Stadium dying every single year in this nation, that's a crisis that had to be given incredible attention, and the president is giving it that attention".

Price said the briefing included discussion of policies outlined in the commission's report, including expanding resources for treatment and recovery, increasing access to the overdose-reversal drug naloxone, and improving data collection and sharing efforts. He stressed border protection and "strong law enforcement" as keys to combating the heroin epidemic.

Health and administration officials met with Trump at his private golf club in Bedminster, N.J., to update him on the crisis.

The University of Virginia's Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy examined death certificates and found that nationally, opioid- and heroin-involved death rates are more than 20 percent greater than reported rates, and opioid death rates were "considerably understated in Pennsylvania, Indiana, New Jersey and Arizona".

Asked about the renewed emphasis on law and order in dealing with the crisis, including from President Trump himself, Christ says she does see an important role for law enforcement in addressing the illegal supply of drugs.

"The best way to prevent drug addiction and overdose is to prevent people from abusing drugs in the first place", said Trump, according to CNN.

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In brief remarks to reporters before meeting with Mr. Price on Tuesday, Mr. Trump didn't mention the report or its recommendations.

Trump expressed confidence that the country will fight this deadly epidemic by working with healthcare and law enforcement experts and will make the United States win.

"These drug companies created this problem, and what's infuriating is that they're doing precious little to be of assistance", he said. If they do start, it's awfully tough to get off. "These law enforcement officials and prosecutors, they know it doesn't do a whole lot of good to have these people sitting in jails". Declaring an emergency would "empower" the administration, the commission said.

He went on to say, "So, we're going to do our job, we're going to get it going".

In 2014 alone, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 14,000 people died from overdoses involving prescription opioids.

While experts say stemming the flow of drugs is part of any solution, many, including top administration officials, have said that law enforcement alone can not end an addiction crisis.

"In terms of saving lives, states are already all-in on this issue", said Michael Fraser, executive director of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officers, which represents public health agencies and health professionals in the United States and its territories.

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