Trump Declines to Declare National Emergency to Fight Opioid Epidemic

pills on American flag

President Trump this week promised to win the fight against the opioid epidemic, but declined to act on a recommendation to declare a national emergency. He offered no new recommendations, Reuters reports.

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said the administration is working to devise a “comprehensive strategy” to combat the opioid crisis.

Last week, President Trump’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis called on him to declare a national emergency to tackle the nation’s opioid epidemic. The commission recommended enforcing requirements that health plans provide the same level of services for those with physical health issues as those with mental health and substance use issues. The group also recommended equipping all law enforcement officers with the opioid overdose antidote naloxone; providing funds for federal agencies to develop sensors that can detect fentanyl; and increasing the use of medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction in prisons.

Heroin, Fentanyl & Other Opioids: From Understanding to Action

Heroin and other opioids are ravaging communities across America. Deaths from heroin increased 328% between 2010 and 2015, and drug deaths from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are now seeing a sharp rise as well. More Americans die from drug overdoses than in car crashes, and this increasing trend is driven by Rx painkillers.

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