Trump declaring opioid crisis a 'public health emergency' a start

Donald Trump speaks on GOP Sgt. La David Johnson Niger ambush and current presidency

In a heartfelt speech that recalled his older brother's struggles with alcohol, President Donald Trump on Thursday formally declared the opioid epidemic a national public health emergency and announced new steps the government will take to fight the problem. USA Today first reported the details.

The Public Health Emergency Fund now contains just $57,000, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, a negligible amount.

"While clearly overturning it may not be in the scope of what the executive branch can do, laying out a clear vision for how waivers could be used to improve the system on a state-by-state basis would be a significant and welcome improvement", Matt Salo, the executive director of the National Association of Medicaid Directors, wrote in an email to STAT after Trump's address.

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.

Officials said Trump wants to include money for the crisis in a year-end budget agreement but to accomplish that, one official said the administration would have to have an "ongoing discussion" with Congress.

Following the report, Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., withdrew his name from consideration to lead the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

The opioid epidemic killed 64,000 Americans in 2016, prompting Trump to call it the "worst drug crisis in our nation's history".

"In Wrentham, signs with "#2069" on them show how many people died a year ago in MA from overdoses. "And every American should know that if they purchase illegal drugs, they are helping to finance some of the most violent, cruel, and ruthless organizations anywhere in the world". Jeanne Shaheen, were in attendance at the White House for the announcement. Chris Christie to explore ways to curb opioid abuse and overdoses.

Deaths caused by opioid overdose have almost quadrupled since 1999, which is why Mr. Trump said he was making addiction a top priority.

Trump said the Department of Homeland Security and United States Postal Service have enhanced their investigation methods for imports of fentanyl, which is 50 times more deadly than heroin. Those people did not have a choice to, as Trump said, "not to take drugs, just not to take them". "Part of the reason we need the wall is for drugs".

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