Trump declares opioid crisis a 'national public health emergency'

Sunday, 29 Oct, 2017

The Department of Health and Human Services might also waive limits on Medicare paying for addiction treatment in working age adults to facilities with 16 or fewer beds, a boost to the recovery industry.

Trump's declaration will also expand access to telemedicine for people in remote areas and shift resources in HIV/AIDs programs to allow people in those programs to receive substance abuse disorder treatments.

Mr. Trump signed an order that frees up government money and resources to increase access to anti-addiction drugs and substance abuse treatment. But with the opioid epidemic, some advocates have called for abandoning this policy. And the numbers have been climbing steadily for years: More than 4,000 were in state-funded treatment for opioid abuse in 2013 - up from 399 in 2000.

Sununu issued a press statement following the announcement, in which he praised Trump's efforts as the first president to declare the opioid crisis a public health emergency.

Without allocating new funds towards addressing opioids issues, the government could only combat the problem through reallocating parts of existing funding streams. He declared the opioid crisis to be a public health emergency - not a national emergency. He offered no specific details, but dozens of cities, counties, and states have filed lawsuits against drug makers and drug distributors for their alleged roles in seeding the opioid crisis. They said the White House would soon send Congress a request for money to combat opioids, with the goal of including it in a year-end spending package. White House officials said the public health route was more appropriate because the other option was designed for natural disasters like hurricanes. "Believe me. Very, very tough life", Trump said.

Other officials in OH, which has the highest prescription opioid overdose rate in the country, according to statistics compiled by the Kaiser Family Foundation, watched Trump's speech with great interest. "It is time to liberate our communities from this scourge of drug addiction".

Portman said, "There is no doubt that this heroin and prescription drug epidemic is a national crisis, and it's getting worse, not better".

Marsh said, "We do need ongoing help from the federal government".

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat, called Trump's declaration "an important step" that's "long overdue" and will mean nothing if it isn't followed with immediate actions.

"You should expect to see approvals that will unlock treatment for people in need and those approvals will come very very fast, not like in the past, " said the President.

By law, federal Medicaid dollars can not go to facilities that treat mental illness or substance use disorders if they have more than 16 beds, a policy that dates to a time when federal officials did not want to be in the practice of reimbursing state psychiatric hospitals.

Administration officials argued that a national emergency declaration was not necessary or helpful in the case of the opioid crisis, and that the powers associated with a public health emergency were better suited to address the issue.

Portman said, "While Congress has made some progress in addressing this crisis by enacting the Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act and the 21st Century CURES Act past year, we can and must do more".