Trump Declares Opioid Epidemic a Public Health Emergency

News Picture: Trump Declares Opioid Epidemic a Public Health Emergency

THURSDAY, Oct. 26, 2017 (HealthDay News) — In his first major speech Thursday on the opioid epidemic inside United States, President Donald Trump declared the crisis a public health emergency.

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“As Americans, we cannot allow This specific to continue,” Trump said in a speech via the White House. “the idea is usually time to liberate our communities via the scourge. We can be the generation which ends the opioid epidemic.”

The president, flanked by First Lady Melania Trump as well as also brand-new Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie, added which fighting the problem “will require all of our effort, as well as also the idea will require us to confront the crisis in all of its real complexity.”

Christie heads a special presidential commission on controlling the epidemic of opioid addiction.

The president held back via pushing the declaration via a “public” to a “national” state of emergency. A national state of emergency allows states access to money via the federal Disaster Relief Fund, as happens when hurricanes or additional natural disasters are declared.

According to the Washington Post, White House officials told reporters which designating the opioid crisis a national state of emergency wasn’t appropriate for a longer-term issue as well as also would certainly add little to what can already be done under “public” emergency status.

The emergency status lasts for 0 days although can be renewed repeatedly.

According to the Post, the presidential memorandum which Trump signed Thursday mandates which acting Secretary of Health as well as also Human Services Secretary Eric Hargan direct federal agencies to use their emergency authorities to bring down the number of opioid overdose deaths.

Similar actions have been taken before, the last being in 2009 in response to the H1N1 flu virus.

As the White House explained, under the brand-new measures, brand-new initiatives can be quickly rolled out. For example, people living in remote areas will get easier access to opioid-addiction treatment, as well as also without the need to see a physician in person. States can quickly shift monies via federal grants over to efforts to fight the crisis. as well as also the Department of Health as well as also Human Services will accelerate hiring of personnel who might need to be deployed to various states.

although one major question remains: Where to find the federal funds to cover all these efforts.

As the Post noted, the Public Health Emergency Fund currently has only $57,000 in its coffers. The White House said the idea is usually working with Congress to find additional funds, which could run into the tens of billions of dollars. The White House did not issue any cost figures, however.

Cynthia Reilly, who directs the Substance Use Prevention as well as also Treatment Initiative at the Pew Charitable Trusts, applauded the brand-new move.

“We are pleased to see the Administration take a step to boost awareness about This specific public health crisis,” Reilly said. “Only 1 in 10 Americans which has a substance use disorder get any kind of treatment, so expanding access to evidence-based therapies is usually key. Additional funding as well as also additional resources are needed to achieve This specific goal.”

During his campaign for the White House, Trump promised to make fighting addiction a top priority.

although getting the money for effective interventions has been an issue. At a congressional hearing Wednesday, Democrats as well as also Republicans expressed frustration as they grilled Trump administration officials about shortfalls in federal spending to combat the opioid crisis, the Associated Press reported.

“I don’t understand why more resources aren’t flowing to help out a rural state like West Virginia,” said West Virginia Republican Rep. David McKinley.

Added Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, a brand-new Mexico Democrat: “People at home don’t feel like they’re getting help.”

the idea’s been nearly a year since Congress as well as also President Barack Obama approved $1 billion to deal with the opioid crisis. which money is usually gradually reaching places in need, although there have been setbacks as well as also delays along the way, the AP reported.

“the idea is usually a great opportunity, although the idea comes which has a lot of angst,” Tom Hill of the nonprofit National Council for Behavioral Health, an addiction treatment provider advocacy group, told the AP.

as well as also in a statement, the American Medical Association said the nation’s opioid addiction epidemic remains a tough, moving target.

“The number of prescription opioids inside country is usually declining while the numbers of people dying via heroin as well as also illicit fentanyl are increasing at a staggering rate,” the AMA said. “As the idea stands, the idea’s easier for patients to access heroin than to access evidence-based treatment as well as also non-opioid pain care. There is usually plenty of work ahead, as well as also the emergency declaration adds further urgency to This specific epidemic.”

— E.J. Mundell

Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

SOURCES: Cynthia Reilly, director, Substance Use Prevention as well as also Treatment Initiative, Pew Charitable Trusts; Washington Post; Associated Press

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