Published: Fri, August 11, 2017
Medicine | By Megan Pierce

OH reacts to declaration of opioid crisis as national emergency

OH reacts to declaration of opioid crisis as national emergency

Trump is spending a full 17 days at his Bedminster, New Jersey golf resort and since escaping Washington on Friday he's hosted a campaign-style rally in West Virginia, spoken with the South Korean president once via phone and tweeted or retweeted an impressive 39 times.

The president is in the middle of a 17-day "working vacation" at his Bedminster golf club, and he tweeted on Monday that he's "going to NY next week for more meetings".

He told reporters that the current swathe of addictions was on a scale never seen before in the USA, adding that he would shortly prepare documents to formalise the declaration of a national emergency over the issue. In 2015, more than 52,000 people died of drug overdoses, a lot of them because of opioids.

Trump also has called for tougher law enforcement, including locking up more drug dealers after what he said was a decline in drug-related prosecutions since 2011, and more aggressive policing at US borders to stop the import of heroin and synthetic opioids.

"With approximately 142 Americans dying every day, America is enduring a death toll equal to September 11th every three weeks", Christie and fellow commission members said in their report to the president.

In a statement released Thursday afternoon, Christie thanked Trump for accepting the commission's recommendation.

Stanhope said Trump's announcement should have come sooner.

Experts have said it is unclear how a national emergency designation would work in this case, since it is a long-term public health issue.

NPR contacted the White House for more details about who was drawing the papers and how an emergency declaration would be implemented. "It is a serious problem the likes of which we have never had", he said.

He said the country has grappled with drug problems before, such as a wave of LSD and other drugs when he was growing up.

Yet, too few medical practitioners offer this treatment, in part, because of low reimbursement rates and rules restricting treatment options, including time limits on treatment.

"There's never been anything like what's happened to this country over the last four or five years", he said. Declaring an emergency could also allow the government to waive certain rules, like the 1960s-era holdover that prohibits Medicaid from paying for inpatient mental health treatment in facilities with more than 16 beds.

Consequently, we request that you immediately call on Congress to provide emergency appropriations to combat the opioid epidemic and to cease their efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. 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.

Gov. Rick Scott signed an executive order May 3 declaring a public health emergency in Florida due to the opioid epidemic.

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