Trump says White House drawing up documents to declare opioid abuse emergency

Patrice Gainsbourg
Agosto 14, 2017

The president has pledged to "spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money on the opioid crisis".

A report from the Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis said almost two-thirds of overdoses are linked to opioid drugs such as heroin, fentanyl and Purdue Pharma's Oxycontin (oxycodone).

While opioid-related court filings have been trending downward in Johnson County, medical calls for overdose-reversing drugs, like Naloxone, have been increasing.

Mr Trump received a briefing on the drugs report earlier this week during his 17-day working vacation in New Jersey. It added that 27 million people reported in 2015 they now used illegal drugs or abuse prescription drugs, but only 21 million receive any type of treatment.

"I know that physicians and other providers have oftentimes sensed that there is an incentive to provide narcotic medication and we need to do all that we can to make certain that, yes, people are provided appropriate narcotic medication when necessary, but no more than necessary", Price said.

"I was in it for five years, but the last 20 years of my life have been a lot different then when I was out on the streets", he explained.

One of the concerns among those in the health profession and addiction recovery organization was that President Trump's fight against the opioid epidemic would be law enforcement-centric, and not pay enough attention to treatment.

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The opioid crisis is an emergency. Most opioid-overdose deaths are linked to prescription pain pills, though the use of heroin is growing rapidly, accounting for nearly 13,000 deaths in 2015, according to Nida.

President Donald Trump is officially declaring the opioid crisis a "national emergency". But also, there's a commission, the President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis.

The emergency declaration was a cornerstone of recommendations made by a national commission on opioids Christie chaired - and advice the White House initially ignored.

The national emergency also hits in the midst of Florida losing $20 million to fund mental health and substance abuse treatment, some of which revolves around opioids and addiction prevention.

"It's a national emergency".

"An emergency declaration can be used for good but President Trump has given every indication so far he and his administration want to escalate the failed war on drugs", said Grant Smith, deputy director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance.

On August 2, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a dozen federal prosecutors will be sent to cities ravaged by the opioid epidemic to investigate health care fraud and opioid scams fueling the drug abuse epidemic.

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