Conquering the National Opioid Crisis

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

U.S. President Donald Trump plans to declare a nationwide public health emergency Thursday to address an escalating opioid crisis that killed more than 175 people each day past year.

"The opioid crisis is an emergency, and I'm saying officially right now: It is an emergency".

Shifting existing money in programs used to fight HIV/AIDS to provide more substance abuse treatment to people with that disease.

Trump's actions have been anticipated since the summer, when an opioid commission Trump convened recommended he declare "a national emergency under either the Public Health Service Act or the Stafford Act". The commission's final report will feature recommendations to be delivered to the president next week.

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"Every person who buys illicit drugs in America should know they are risking their future, their families, and even their lives", Trump said. The declaration shifts some federal money to help addicts. The Medical Care Journal estimated a year ago the economic cost of opioid overdoses, dependence and abuse was almost $79 billion. This decision led to quick criticism that without new funding, what Trump had done amounted to little more than a gesture. The legislation reduces the barriers to access $4.28 billion, which the federal government made available in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Deaths caused by opioid overdose have almost quadrupled since 1999, which is why Mr. Trump said he was making addiction a top priority.

The main practical effect of the declaration is to waive regulations to speed up resources going to the opioid epidemic.

He reiterated that specific concern with Dobbs on Wednesday and cited his planned wall along the U.S. -Mexico border as a deterrent. Trump also announced National Prescription Drug Take Back Day will be held on Saturday, which is sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Agency.

Local police departments are taking back drugs on Saturday
Or an addict, hooked on prescription drugs, may decide to break in and go hunting. An officer will be on hand to assist with the disposing of the unused drugs.

Encouraging pharmaceutical companies to develop painkillers that aren't addictive. But it remains unclear what impact Trump's new order will have on the crisis.

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican who attended Trump's speech, said he hopes the initiative will lead to "a better coordinated federal response to this crisis". Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette was at the White House for the presidential announcement.

"The President has been focused on addressing the opioid issue since taking office and today's declaration further underscores his recognition of the severity of this issue", the statement read.

"You should expect to see approvals that will unlock treatment for people in need and those approvals will come very very fast, not like in the past, " said the President. "I am hopeful that today's announcement will also signal an ease in regulations so that New Hampshire has the flexibility needed to innovate and better target the Addiction Services funds that we are now receiving into areas of the highest need".

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These steps include prosecuting distributors of fentanyl, a deadly synthetic opioid, and strengthening guidelines for how opioids are prescribed for pain.

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