July 15, 2018

Trump now says he'll declare opioid crisis 'national emergency' as Christie suggested

11 August 2017, 02:08 | Randall Craig

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President Donald Trump on Thursday said he considers the opioid crisis to be "a national emergency", starting a process aimed at giving the federal and state governments more resources and flexibility to deal with the epidemic.

"The opioid crisis is an emergency", Trump told reporters at his New Jersey country club, where he is on a two-week working vacation.

While President Donald Trump's briefing on the current opioid epidemic in the USA on Tuesday was dominated by his aggressive threat to respond to North Korea's nuclear development program with "fire and fury", the president's comments on the opioid crisis were also met with concern by drug policy experts-as Trump indicated that he would not follow the recommendations of his own opioid crisis task force.

While we appreciate that the Commission on Combatting Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis led by Governor Chris Christie finally released its interim report on July 31st, we remain concerned that the Trump Administration has not done enough to prioritize the opioid epidemic.

The decision comes a few weeks after Trump's bipartisan opioid commission recommended that the president declare the national emergency in order to "force Congress to focus on funding", according the commission's report.

Those who see the opioid crisis in Manatee County on a daily basis are glad to see the declaration made.

"I'm's an emergency", Trump said Thursday, according to the report.

The declaration is supposed to empower the Trump administration to carry out the commission's other recommendations.

Stanhope said Trump's announcement should have come sooner.

A spokesman for the Democratic National Committee said the president had "done nothing" for the people affected by the drug crisis.

Ryan, Co-Chairman of the Congressional Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus was one of the several lawmakers to sign a letter calling on the President to declare the epidemic a national emergency.

The rule was cited as one of the primary reasons for the April closure of Post House, a 48-bed drug treatment center in Pemberton Township.

"It is a serious problem the likes of which we have never had". On the other hand, you have to stop new generations of potential drug users from accessing and misusing opioids.

However, it's also possible the declaration could boost the powers of law enforcement: the administration could seize the opportunity to push for more sentencing laws, boost drug penalties, or even fund the construction of the US-Mexico border wall. "There's never been anything like what's happened to this country over the last four or five years", he said, reiterating that "this is a national emergency".

Therein lies the problem: We don't need another commission to know what to do to ease the opioid crisis. From 2000 to 2015, more than 500,000 people died of drug overdoses, and opioids account for the majority of those.

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