The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner says we are on pace for more 400 overdose deaths this year, the majority opioids. Sessions declared that the opioid crisis is a "winnable war" and urged law enforcement to pursue prosecutions for illegal possession of prescriptions just two days after the opioid commission released its interim report that called for a health-based response. "We're going to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money on the opioid crisis", President Trump told reporters Thursday at his golf estate in Bedminster, N.J., according to the Post.
Making "America great again" won't bring much comfort to the communities that are losing their children to drug overdoses. "I am deeply saddened every time I read the letters I receive from West Virginians talking about their loved ones they've lost to drug abuse".
"We passed and the last president signed into law the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act", he said. But in an emergency, Section 1135 waivers could be granted for opioid addiction treatment, opening up more treatment options for the states.
Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price on August 8 said the Trump administration has made an "absolute priority" of addressing the nationwide opioid crisis.
From 2000 to 2015, more than 500,000 people died of drug overdoses, and opioids account for the majority of those.
"The opioid crisis is an emergency and I'm saying officially right now it is an emergency".
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He told reporters that the current swathe of addictions was on a scale never seen before in the U.S., adding that he would shortly prepare documents to formalise the declaration of a national emergency over the issue.
New Jersey Governor #Chris Christie, who heads the Trump opioid commission, said that the importance of the declaration was based on the fact that Americans are dying due to the crisis, CNN reported. President Trump's stance on the opioid epidemic has changed, from originally stating this problem could be addressed without declaring this a national crisis.
Still, Price stressed that "all things" were "on the table for the president".
By declaring it a national emergency it removes some barriers and waives some federal rules such as one that restricts Medicaid recipients from receiving addiction treatment.
Six states have announced their own opioid-related public health emergency or disaster declarations in recent years, and a seventh, Indiana, issued a declaration to respond to an HIV outbreak that was driven by injection drug abuse.
How bad is the opioid epidemic, you ask?