Alaska governor officially labels opioid epidemic 'state disaster'

Governor Bill Walker, I-Alaska, declared the state's opioid epidemic a public health crisis, according to a report from KYUK.

Through the disaster declaration, an estimated $4,058,316 from the state health department and federal grants will be diverted to support the dissemination of the opioid overdose antidote naloxone across the state, according to the report.

"This disaster declaration is an important first step in addressing our public health crisis, which has devastated too many Alaskan families," said Gov. Walker. "When earthquakes, fires or floods claim lives and property on a large scale, a declaration of disaster is issued to prioritize the state's response. This is no different. We must stop this opioid epidemic. My order ensures that our resources are properly allocated to tackle this challenge. However, this is only the first step. It provides a temporary solution; we must work on a long-term fix."

More articles on opioids: 
Aetna ends preauthorization for opioid addiction treatment 
New Jersey places 5-day limit on initial opioid prescriptions 
DEA: China's recent blacklisting of carfentanil a 'game changer' for opioid epidemic

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