Trump declares opioid epidemic a national public health emergency

Today President Trump declared the opioid epidemic a national public health emergency under federal law. In doing so, this directs executive agencies to use appropriate emergency authority to fight the opioid crisis.

Trump expects his Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis to deliver its final report next week, to follow with plans to evaluate the findings and implement appropriate recommendations.

Despite the announcement, there is no funding for the declaration.

AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack issued a statement today saying, “This declaration appropriately highlights the urgent need to act so that fewer of our fellow citizens are suffering. We urge the Administration and Congress to take needed steps, such as eliminating the barriers to treatment created by the Medicaid Institutions for Mental Disease exclusion, knocking down impediments to the appropriate sharing of patient substance use records, and ensuring that patients have comprehensive coverage that facilitates access to the services they need. We also urge full funding and implementation of legislation previously enacted to help end the epidemic.”