President Donald Trump has directed the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to declare a 90 day public health emergency in an attempt to combat the U.S. opioid epidemic.
With 91 Americans dying daily from opioid overdoes, Mr. Trump has been under pressure for months to accelerate the federal government’s response to the crisis.
There have been promises since the summer, that Trump would make this move which theoretically can free up funding and loosen regulations. If he had chosen to, Trump could have declared a broader national emergency which would have made additional federal money available, but chose not to.
Although the declaration is limited and falls short of what is needed to curb the crisis, the hope is that it will make some difference and jump start efforts. Some of the ways in which the declaration might assist the fight is by; allowing addicts in rural parts of the country access medication assisted treatment through telemedicine, allowing federal agencies to move around some existing grant money to focus on the epidemic, help increase staffing for the Department of Human and Health Services, and by opening up the Public Health Emergency Fund to help, although the money in the fund is limited.
According to the U.S. Surgeon General only one in ten addicted Americans receive treatment.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, call (866) 772-8491 for a free assessment.