Is President Trump doing enough to fight the opioid epidemic?
via AP

Is President Trump doing enough to fight the opioid epidemic?

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President Trump officially declared the opioid epidemic a national health emergency after stating it was the "worst drug crisis in American history." Many have applauded the president for taking such a strong step toward combatting the crisis. But advocates have criticized the president for not doing enough. Despite his announcement, President Trump has not allocated any additional funding for opioid treatment, and critics are saying Trump is all talk and no action. What do you think? 💉

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President Trump officially declared the opioid epidemic a "national health emergency." Through the Public Health Services Act, Trump directed his acting secretary of health and human services to declare a national health emergency, according to CNN

Senior White House officials told CNN that they will follow up this order by working with Congress to fund the Public Health Emergency Fund and to increase federal funding in year-end budget deals currently being negotiated in Congress. But both of those avenues are far from guaranteed, especially given all the other issues on Congress' plate.

In his announcement, President Trump called the opioid epidemic the "worst drug crisis in American history," and stated, "we can be the generation that ends the opioid epidemic."

"Last year, we lost at least 64,000 Americans to overdoses. That’s 175 lost American lives per day. That’s seven lost lives per hour in our country. Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of unintentional death in the United States by far."
"That is why, effective today, my administration is officially declaring the opioid crisis a national public health emergency under federal law, and why I am directing all executive agencies to use every appropriate emergency authority to fight the opioid crisis. This marks a critical step in confronting the extraordinary challenge that we face." 

Watch President Trump's full remarks here:


The president was applauded by many for taking such a strong stand to combat the opioid epidemic. 

But critics have pointed out that while Trump's speech may have been heartfelt, he hasn't actually allocated any additional funding to help fight the opioid crisis. According to The Hill, advocates for greater opioid treatment say they need "dollars to fight the epidemic" not just words. 

“There is no solution without funding,” said Rebecca Farley David, vice president of policy and advocacy at the National Council for Behavioral Health. “We heard many bold words, now it’s the time to back that up with bold action and funding. Otherwise, those words become empty promises.”

And some have pointed out the hypocrisy of Trump purporting to care about the "public health emergency" that is the opioid epidemic while exacerbating the problem by cutting funding for Medicaid.

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