Trump is merely “jumping on the political bandwagon”, joining countless politicians who see the crisis and do not see the solution!
Trump is so ill informed, I am a bit surprised he did not say something like “Opioids are right up there, just as dangerous as Marijuana”! The federal law classifies both as in the same category – a “Schedule 1 drug”. Ridiculous.
Without funding, his declaration is virtually meaningless. Addicts need treatment, not prisons.
Excerpts from the Article:
President Trump on Thursday directed the Department of Health and Human Services to declare the opioid crisis a public health emergency, taking long-anticipated action to address a rapidly escalating epidemic of drug use. But even as he vowed to alleviate the scourge of drug addiction and abuse that has swept the country — a priority that resonated strongly with the working-class voters who supported his presidential campaign — Mr. Trump fell short of fulfilling his promise in August to declare “a national emergency” on opioids, which would have prompted the rapid allocation of federal funding to address the issue.
His directive does not on its own release any additional funds to deal with a drug crisis that claimed more than 59,000 lives in 2016, and the president did not request any, although his aides said he would soon do so. And he made little mention of the need for the rapid and costly expansion of medical treatment that public health specialists, including some in his own administration, argue is crucial to addressing the epidemic.
To combat the epidemic, the president said the government would produce “really tough, really big, really great advertising” aimed at persuading Americans not to start using opioids in the first place, seeming to hark back to the “Just Say No” antidrug campaign led by Nancy Reagan in the 1980s.
Congressional Republicans as well as law enforcement and physicians’ groups said the president’s announcement was a crucial first step in building awareness about the opioid crisis and confronting its causes and devastating effects.
“America is hemorrhaging lives by the day because of the opioid epidemic, but President Trump offered the country a Band-Aid when we need a tourniquet,” said Senator Edward J. Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts. “Instead of a commitment to emergency funding for our states and communities, President Trump offered empty words and half-measures.”
“What we need is for the president to seek an appropriation from Congress, I believe in the billions, so that we can rapidly expand access for effective outpatient opioid addiction treatments,” Dr. Kolodny said in an interview. “Until those treatments are easier to access than heroin or fentanyl, overdose deaths will remain at record-high levels.”
Among the questions left unanswered by the president’s announcement is whether the Department of Health and Human Services will use its authority under the public health declaration to negotiate lower prices for naloxone, a drug that quickly counteracts the effects of opioid overdoses. Lawmakers and public health and anti-addiction organizations have argued that such a measure is crucial to expand access to the drug.
“That undercurrent that if all of you just decided not to do this, we’d be in a better place — I can tell you, my son did not decide that he wanted to become addicted, much less die,” Mr. Hood said. “We might have been much better served by framing this as a very serious illness, a very serious health issue.”
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