Trump announces opioid crisis a public health emergency
Washington D.C. [USA], Oct 27 : United States President Donald Trump has directed the Department of Health and Human Services to declare the opioid drug addiction in the country a public health emergency.The U.S. President made the announcement at a ceremony in the White House East Room, attended by families affected by opioid abuse, members of Congress and administration officials.
"No part of our society - not young or old, rich or poor, urban or rural - has been spared this plague of drug addiction and this horrible, horrible situation that's taken place with opioids; This epidemic is a national health emergency," Trump was quoted as saying, by New York Times.
The directive intends to grant funds towards efforts to combat opioid abuse and would ease certain laws and regulations to address it.
In 2016, the drug abuse was reported to have claimed more than 59,000 lives.
Trump stressed on ending the long continuing addiction and said, "It is time to liberate our communities from this scourge of drug addiction."
Trump said the plan is to set aside the rule barring Medicaid -a social health care program- from funding many drug rehabilitation facilities, requiring federally employed prescribers to be trained in safe practices for opioid prescriptions, and a new federal initiative to develop non-addictive painkillers.
Further elaborating, he said the administration would produce "really tough, really big, really great advertising" in efforts to convince citizens to not use opioids.
"This was an idea that I had, where if we can teach young people not to take drugs, it's really, really easy not to take them," Trump said, adding that an advice from his brother to never take a drink has worked for him.
"We are going to overcome addiction in America," President Trump averred.
In August, Trump called the opioid crisis a "national emergency," but did not sign a formal declaration designating it as such.
Trump announced the tackling of opioid abuse as one of his key steps, when he assumed office. However, he has received criticism from certain sections for allegedly taking only limited actions to address the crisis.