Trump warns that opioid crisis threatens everyone

As'142 Americans dying every day, Opioid Commission seeks national emergency declaration

Trump met with Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway at his golf club in New Jersey during his August working vacation. With 142 Americans dying every day from a drug overdose, the nation is "enduring a death toll" equal to the September 11, 2001, terror attacks every three weeks, according to members of President Donald Trump's opioid commission, who urged the president on Monday to declare the crisis a national emergency.

The former Maryland health secretary and Baltimore health commissioner is among those reacting to President Donald Trump's briefing Tuesday on the opioid epidemic in America.

Nationally, the rate of opioid deaths is on the rise - every day 62 Americans die of an opioid overdose, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Some states-including Florida, Maryland, and Arizona-have already declared states of emergency. Trump frequently mentioned the opioid crisis as a presidential candidate, but has given it less public attention since taking office in January.

Christie was not in New Jersey while Trump and his aides discussed the opioid crisis, the governor's pet issue.

Trump has pushed for deep cuts in federal aid to states for their Medicaid programs even as Medicaid has emerged as one of the most important tools in combating the crisis.

"About law enforcement. About stopping drugs coming across the border", he said. Although the declaration could provide additional federal resources, it could also be used to ramp up a punitive response, they said.

Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia have some of the nation's highest rates of addiction and overdose deaths due to heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and abuse of prescription opioids such as oxycodone.

City officials and advocates had praised the commission's report for its emphasis on prevention and treatment - which dovetails with the recommendations produced by the city's own opioid task force.

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The commission's primary suggestion was to have the government declare a national emergency, which would make federal funds more available to those fighting the opioid epidemic on the ground.

"When we hear the repeating of the 1980s-era "Just Say No" that, we think history has shown, is just not enough", he told MetroNews.

The opioid epidemic has claimed more than a 500,000 lives from 2000 to 2015.

"We're going to have a tremendous team of experts and people that want to beat this frightful situation that has happened in our country - and we will", Trump told reporters. He spoke about the need in particular to curb the over-prescription of opioids from doctors.

Activists have called on the Trump Administration to finally do more to combat the crisis.

One member of the commission, Democratic North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper specifically said during the July 31 meeting that the final report dealt with "law enforcement-assisted diversion" of addicts into treatment.

Recent studies have detailed the devastating extent of the opioid epidemic. "Whether that's something that's analogous to that, I don't know", he said.

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