President Trump has officially declared the nation’s opioid crisis a national emergency. The declaration came on Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017, at a news conference that President Trump attended with Vice President Pence at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J. According to the President, “The opioid crisis is an emergency, and I’m saying officially right now it is an emergency. 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.”
The decision comes a few weeks after the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis issued a preliminary report urging the President to declare a national emergency while describing the overall opioid-related death toll to reach the same number as that of the Sep. 11 attack every three weeks. While the President acknowledged the gravity of the situation, until yesterday, it was not clear whether he was keen on declaring an emergency right away. The much-anticipated declaration comes just two days after it was declared unnecessary by Tom Price, the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary. As per Price, the situation could be handled without declaring an emergency as the administration was empowered and well-equipped to fight the epidemic.
“President Trump deserves great credit for his decision,” said New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, applauding the president’s action. Calling it an important first step, former congressman Patrick Kennedy also welcomed the President’s decision and said that it will “empower Congress and the Administration to take bold steps to fund desperately-needed treatment and prevention efforts.” The declaration equips states and federal agencies throughout the nation to utilize more resources and power to combat the opioid epidemic.
Drug overdose and poisoning is an unparalleled crisis
The Commission’s preliminary report cited statistics shared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which revealed that drug overdoses kill an estimated 142 Americans every day. Calling it an unparalleled crisis, the report also emphasized on the fact that drug overdoses kill more people throughout the nation than combined fatalities caused by car crashes and homicides.
With more than 560,000 people dying due to drug overdoses, during 1999 and 2015, the Commission also proposed a few recommendations, including a rapid increase in treatment capacity, eliminating barriers to treatment, education initiatives to enhance prevention efforts, equipping law enforcement with naloxone to save lives, and establishing and funding a federal incentive to enhance access to Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), among others.
According to the CDC’s, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), since 2000, the US has witnessed a 137 percent increase in drug overdose deaths and a 200 percent increase in the rate of overdose deaths that involved opioids. In addition to a rise in the number of fatalities, the opioid crisis has also lead to some major economic consequences.
These statistics were further corroborated by a recent study, which stated that the nation has seen an explosion in fatal drug poisonings, with fatal overdoses rising to 47,055 in 2014 from 36,450 in 2008. The report further suggested that the numbers of opioid and heroin-related overdose fatalities were underreported and that the corrected mortality rates pertaining to opioids should be 24 percent greater and for those for heroin should be 22 percent higher.
Road to recovery
A complex disease of the mind and body, and difficult to overcome without professional support, addiction to drugs can be all-consuming, affecting different individuals differently. Sovereign Health of California, a leading addiction treatment provider, provides comprehensive, individualized and evidence-based drug and heroin addiction treatment to all its patients in a secure, safe and compassionate environment.
Combining traditional clinical therapies with scientific modalities, Sovereign Health offers individualized drug addiction treatment programs basis the client’s medical history and the severity of his or her symptoms. For more information on our cutting-edge heroin withdrawal treatment, call our live admission specialist, available at our 24/7 helpline number. You can also chat online with our representatives, who would be happy to answer all your queries, for immediate assistance.
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