Trump declares opioid crisis a 'national public health emergency'

Trump will declare a public health emergency to combat the opioid crisis. Here's what that will do.

Other officials in OH, which has the highest prescription opioid overdose rate in the country, according to statistics compiled by the Kaiser Family Foundation, watched Trump's speech with great interest.

On Thursday, President Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency.

He said the "crisis of drug use, addiction and overdose deaths, in many years" requires "all of our effort and will require us to confront the crisis in all of its very real complexity".

The president debated invoking a disaster emergency under the Stafford Act, which would have made FEMA's Disaster Relief Fund available for governors who declared the opioid crisis a disaster situation.

The President urged Congress to add money to a public health emergency fund that hasn't replenished for years and again promised to build a wall along the Mexican border. A statement from Christie said the commission will give Trump "an even more comprehensive set of recommendations" to fight opioids in a report to be issued November 1.

The president did not declare a more comprehensive national state of emergency as recommended by his Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. It is time to liberate our communities from this scourge of drug addiction, never been this way. But it remains unclear what impact Trump's new order will have on the crisis. More than 100 Americans die daily from related overdoses, according to the CDC.

The President said he's directing all executive agencies to use every appropriate emergency authority to fight the crisis.

Here is what the declarations mean for health IT.

The move allows for some limited steps, such as allowing patients in rural parts of the country to access medication for addiction treatment through telemedicine, but will not make any additional federal money available to confront a crisis that a year ago killed more than 64,000 Americans.

She also said Medicaid expansion and the drug treatment services provided under the Affordable Care Act that Trump has tried to repeal "have gone a long way to providing invaluable care to those in the grips of addiction". This speaks to something that is often lost when discussing the opioid epidemic: There are still lots of patients who need pain medication, and there are some concerns that because of new prescribing limits and the fear of feeding addiction, they are not able to get access to them.

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