Trump takes Christie's advice and declares addiction crisis 'national emergency'

Trump takes Christie's advice and declares addiction crisis 'national emergency'

President Donald Trump talks about North Korea during a briefing on the opioid crisis, Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017, at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J.

"Declaring it a national emergency instantly identifies this crisis as the most important public health emergency we've had since this nomenclature came about", said James Hodge Jr., a law professor at Arizona State University who specializes in public health law and emergency preparedness. 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. "There's never been anything like what's happened to this country over the last four or five years", the president said.

These comments stand in stark contrast to the interim recommendations that President Trump's own bipartisan opioid commission released last month that would prioritize a health-based response to the crisis and greater access to medication-assisted treatment and naloxone.

The president was briefed on the drug commission report earlier this week, which pointed out there are 142 overdose deaths a day across the country. "It remains to be seen how much this will fundamentally change its course", said Caleb Alexander, co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Drug Safety and Effectiveness.

In a statement, Christie thanked the president for accepting the commission's national emergency recommendation. It added that 27 million people reported in 2015 they now used illegal drugs or abuse prescription drugs, but only 21 million receive any type of treatment. "If they do start, it's awfully tough to get off", he said, according to a CNN report.

Federal, state and local policymakers have been trying to catch up with the opioids epidemic, which affects all ages and races in every corner of the U.S.

"I commend the president for declaring that the opioid crisis is a public health emergency", Buchanan said.

Price told the press: "The resources that we need or the focus that we need to bring to bear to the opioid crisis at this point can be addressed without the declaration of an emergency. It's a national emergency", Trump said on Thursday.

Fentanyl is an opioid 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine that is often mixed into other drugs such as heroin.

He said: 'More Americans now die from overdoses than from vehicle accidents or guns, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of overdose-related emergency room visits each year'. But we've been checking around with various agencies, the White House, and they just don't quite know yet.

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