President Trump Declares The Opioid Epidemic A National Emergency

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In June, Arizona became the sixth state to declare a statewide emergency in response to the opioid epidemic, according to the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.

The Christie administration also implemented new rules limiting the prescriptions of pain pills, which many experts have blamed in part for the heroin and opioid addiction crisis. "We've known for quite some time that we have a significant issue with opioid overuse, abuse, overdose in this county".

Trump held a briefing on the matter at his private golf course in central New Jersey, where he is on a 17-day "working vacation". "People that are drug traffickers deserve a significant penalty for their crime, they're threatening the health and safety of our citizens". "You know, when I was growing up, they had the L.S.D. and they had certain generations of drugs".

"I was in it for five years, but the last 20 years of my life have been a lot different then when I was out on the streets", he explained.

"This is about more than the United States of America and it's about more than the president, who has been a bully all his life, who has succeeded because he has been able to bully others", the Texas Democrat said. Six states have declared the opioid crisis as a statewide emergency.

Tom Price, secretary of health and human services, explained that emergency status usually is employed to short-term crises, such as the ebola and zika virus outbreaks in recent years.

Pointing to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation, Neal noted that the number of individuals addicted to heroin more than doubled from 2006 to 2015, while the number of opioid-related deaths nationwide almost tripled.

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Declaring an emergency means that the Trump administration is making the opioid crisis a top priority.

President Donald Trump designated the opioid crisis as a national emergency August 10, pledging to use federal funding usually reserved for natural disasters to help state and federal agencies fight the epidemic. "It's a national emergency", Trump said.

He continued: "We're going to draw it up and we're going to make it a national emergency".

Ultimately, he said, North Korea "better get their act together" or it will be "in trouble like few nations ever have been in trouble in this world".

The commission that recommended the emergency declaration also plans to explore issues of youth opioid use, its preliminary report said.

These studies cut at Trump's insinuation that opioid addiction could be curbed by stopping people from taking any opioids in the first place.