Trump says White House drawing up documents to declare opioid abuse emergency

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"The opioid crisis is an emergency, and I'm saying officially right now it is an emergency". Since 1999, the number of opioid-related overdose deaths-including prescription opioids and heroin-quadrupled.

OH leads the nation in opioid deaths.

Ohio Democrats joined Republicans in praising Trump's announcement. "Additional resources from the federal government will help hard-hit states like OH", said DeWine.

"It is a serious problem, the likes of which we have never had", the president said. We all have to be in this effort together. "Law enforcement officers throughout OH have told me that we can not arrest our way out of this problem".

The commission's report addresses both sides of the opioid crisis: what Stanford drug policy expert Keith Humphreys has described to me as the "stock" and the "flow".

And of course, Trump didn't pass up the opportunity to try to discredit the Justice Department investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian Federation to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

The group's interim report has a necessary tone of urgency, calling on the president to designate a national emergency to focus federal agency attention and funding, which must be approved by Congress, on the issue.

With a declaration of a national emergency, the president should be able to more easily direct federal money for treatment, prevention and law enforcement. One of the things the commission recommends is that be eliminated. In fact, numerous recommendations exist as pending, bipartisan legislation in both chambers of Congress.

Mr Trump received a briefing on the drugs report earlier this week during his 17-day working vacation in New Jersey. Later versions of the failed Senate bill last month included some funding to address the opioid crisis. There has been insufficient investment in treatment options by the federal government and it has made a national response to this crisis slow and inconsistent.

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Health and human services secretary Tom Price later seemed to suggest that the President may not go so far as he had suggested. Unfortunately, this Fund is now empty.

Additionally, access to quality and affordable health care remains a significant concern.

Rapidly increasing access to medication-assisted treatment, as the commission calls for, is the best place to start.

A bill passed past year, the 21st Century Cures Act, included $1 billion to help states fight the opioid crisis. Under the Social Security Act, federal Medicaid funds can't reimburse services from inpatient facilities that treat "mental diseases", including addiction, with more than 16 beds.

It is not often that a public health emergency is declared for something other than a natural disaster.

We are all concerned by the impact of this epidemic on our communities across the country and across all demographics.

The president also spoke at the briefing of securing the southern border, one of his signature 2016 campaign promises, as a key component of fighting the opioid epidemic-echoing his comments in a leaked transcript of a phone call with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, which was released last week.

Despite Trump's looming declaration, it remains unclear whether he and Congress will act on the rest of the recommendations by the opioid commission.

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