Trump declares opioid epidemic national emergency

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President Donald Trump on Thursday declared the nation's opioid crisis a national emergency, according to The Washington Post.

The move comes after President Trump and HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD, declined to declare a national emergency during a Tuesday press briefing on the epidemic. The Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, established by President Trump via an executive order in March, first recommended the president make such a declaration in its interim report released July 31.

"It's a national emergency. 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. "It is a serious problem, the likes of which we've never had. You know, when I was growing up, they had the LSD, and they had certain generations of drugs. There's never been anything like what's happened to this country over the last four or five years."

The designation will permit the administration to "take bold steps and … force Congress to focus on funding and empowering the executive branch even further to deal with this loss of life. It [will] also awaken every American to this simple fact: if this scourge has not found you or your family yet, without bold action by everyone, it soon will," according to the opioid commission's report.

More than 140 Americans died every day from a drug overdose in 2015, according to the commission's report. New data suggests that number has grown significantly in the last two years, reports the Post.

More articles on opioids: 
New Hampshire sues OxyContin manufacturer over marketing tactics 
Opioid overdose deaths could be higher than CDC numbers indicate, study finds 
Physicians from lower-tier med schools prescribe more opioids

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