President: Opioid crisis a 'horrible situation'

10 August, 2017, 00:14 | Author: Ora Austin
  • As'142 Americans dying every day, Opioid Commission seeks national emergency declaration

"We believe at this point the resources we'd need or the focus we need to bring to bear to the opioid crisis can be achieved without the declaration", Trump added.

Experts have said that declaring a national emergency could help free up federal funding for states dealing with an overdose crisis that, the commission said, kills 142 Americans a day, though some advocates anxious the Trump administration would have used the declaration to return to policies similar to the war on drugs.

The former Maryland health secretary and Baltimore health commissioner is among those reacting to President Donald Trump's briefing Tuesday on the opioid epidemic in America.

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. The health news website STAT reports that six states have used disaster or emergency declarations in order to take more aggressive measures to fight opioids. Channeling the "Just Say No" spirit of Nancy Reagan, Trump suggested that telling kids to stop it already would end the drug epidemic that's now consuming the country.

You can read the latest comments from Price and Conway here.

Trump did not address any of the recommendations.

Three years ago, New Mexico had the nation's second-highest death rate from opioid overdoses.

"The reaction from all of them was universally very good", Christie said at an unrelated news conference last Wednesday.

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The National Center for Health Statistics said the share of overdose deaths stood at an unprecedented 19.9 per 100,000 people in the third quarter of past year, up from 16.7 in the same quarter of 2015.

Trump's law-and-order approach to solving the opioid problem is at odds with the experts', who say focusing on the demand side of the epidemic, not the supply side, is the key to saving lives.

A series of studies, however, have found one of the key variables in opioid addiction is a doctor's prescription, with many overdose deaths stemming from prescription opioid medications. Price said combatting the opioid epidemic is "an absolute priority of [Trump's] administration".

Though the Trump White House is reportedly giving serious consideration to the opioid crisis, the administration's 2018 budget proposal could undercut efforts to take action on the issue.

"I think when we have a single cause of death that has increased as dramatically as the rate of opioid overdose and particularly to the magnitude we've reached now, it is an unusual situation that requires unusual measures", Butler said.

The "plan" Trump announced is not at all the same as the one recently recommended to him by his Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis.

"We are working- closely with the Congress on legislation to have better and tighter controls", said Richard Baum, Acting Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

"You hear the word "healing" thrown around or discussed, and I don't know if it is more healing as it is acceptance", Nowak said.

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