How national emergency declaration helps fight against opioids

Phillip Cunningham
August 13, 2017

After a meeting on the opioid issue, Trump presented the crisis as a law enforcement issue, but health experts say diversion programs are more likely to help a person who misuses opioids, and concerns about law enforcement involvement can keep people from seeking care in an emergency.

Dr. Neil Capretto, at the Gateway Rehabilitation Center in Beaver County, reacted to the president's announcement, saying "Declaring it as a national emergency will hopefully bring more attention to the problem, and make more people aware of it, and also bring more funding to treatment and prevention". He indicated that the administration was now drawing up the paperwork to make it official.

Since Gottlieb took over pharma company Endo has said it will voluntarily withdraw its opioid painkiller Opana ER (oxymorphone) from the market after an FDA panel said the risks of addiction outweigh its pain-killing benefits. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, senior counselor Kellyanne Conway, senior adviser Jared Kushner and first lady Melania Trump were among the attendees.

"We haven't yet seen [the drug epidemic] peak", he said. His office did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment. I think there is still time for other measures.

In Massachusetts alone, he added, it will cost a projected $123 million to provide comprehensive coverage for all people treated for opioid use disorders in 2026.

She lost a son, a grandson and a son's girlfriend to drug overdoses.

US President Donald Trump left and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are shown on a television report in South Korea
US President Donald Trump left and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are shown on a television report in South Korea

"You know when I was growing up they had the LSD and they had certain generations of drugs", Trump said. "Anything that helps is good". White House aides say Trump is still reviewing the report and its recommendations for action.

Opioid addiction has touched my life. We need a national focus on this epidemic.

Gov. Rick Scott signed an executive order May 3 declaring a public health emergency in Florida due to the opioid epidemic.

As a member of the Health and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittees, Collins has participated in six subcommittee hearings discussing the government and states responses to the crisis, fentanyl, and professional and academic perspectives.

More than 142 Americans dying of drug overdoses each day, according to the Washington Post. "I hope things work out well; I hope there's going to be peace".


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