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

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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.

A spokesman for the Democratic National Committee said the president had "done nothing" for the people affected by the drug crisis. "But this is a national emergency, and we are drawing documents now to so attest".

"We're going to draw it up and we're going to make it a national emergency", he said. But the special commission, chaired by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, said it was appropriate in a situation in which thousands of Americans are dying from overdoses and families and communities are being torn apart.

The "national emergency" status also brings up some political questions.

"While this is an important step, combating the opioid epidemic requires more than words - it requires meaningful action and investment", Brown said. The agency has not responded to requests for comment.

Trump's statement was welcomed by members of Congress. Sen.

At the beginning of this decade, government officials shut down many "pill mills" in which doctors dispensed huge numbers of prescription opioids, and many addicts switched to street heroin. "The average American would likely be shocked to know that drug overdoses now kill more people than gun homicides and auto crashes combined". New government data show an increase in opioid overdose deaths during the first three quarters of past year, an indication that efforts to curb the epidemic are not working.

The essential problem with Trump's approach, Piper added, is that it "makes it look like they are doing something even when they are not". The action would give the administration additional funding and powers, such as negotiating lower prices for overdose reversal drugs, according to the draft. On one hand, you have the current stock of opioid users who are addicted; the people in this population need treatment or they will simply find other, potentially deadlier opioids to use if they lose access to painkillers.

"We have a huge crisis in the country with the abuse of opioids, and it's not like some prior drug crises which were sort of walled off from most of society".

CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta said "the question will be: Will that money be used to increase hospital bed availability, medically assisted therapy for the millions of people now addicted and widely available naloxone to prevent overdose deaths?"

Expand access to the opioid overdose antidote naloxone Among other plans, the commission vows to provide model legislation so states can allow the dispensing of naloxone through a standing order. And in recent months the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, Congress, physician groups and the insurance industry have all taken institutional steps to address the crisis. Without addressing these two areas of concern, an effective response to this 21st Century public health emergency will be inadequate.

Health and human services secretary Tom Price later seemed to suggest that the President may not go so far as he had suggested.

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