The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids supports the administration’s declaration of a nationwide public health emergency in response to the opioid epidemic. With 144 people dying every day to a drug overdose, the additional tools this declaration provides are critical.
The President’s official announcement will be made in Washington D.C. today, and a livestream of the event should be available at 2:00 pm EDT at www.whitehouse.gov/live.
This declaration is due in part to the advocacy of individuals and families urging the White House to take action, as well as the determination of those who have helped to tear down the long-associated stigma around addiction, forcefully championing policies and funding to help their loved ones struggling with substance use.
This declaration will help remove certain regulations that are preventing individuals and families from getting the treatment services they need. But of equal importance, the declaration elevates the urgency around this crisis so that federal agencies, as well as those at the state and local level, will have reason to redouble their efforts to address this epidemic.
It is our hope that today’s announcement will mark the beginning of a new chapter in our national conversation about this issue. We hope it will result in the administration and Congress working together to make sure that there is a major influx of new dollars to address this crisis in a comprehensive fashion, including prevention, treatment, intervention, family support, recovery and law enforcement.
The Partnership is eager to work with officials at the federal, state and local level to ensure that we are doing everything possible to drive down the number of overdoses, provide treatment services to all who need them, ensure that every family has access to support services and make sure that there are sufficient prevention programs in place.