President Trump, officials to discuss opioid epidemic Tuesday

President Donald Trump's advisers said Tuesday that he would not declare a national emergency over the opioid crisis, despite an "urgent" recommendation from the commission he appointed to study the epidemic.

President Donald Trump yesterday vowed that the USA will fight and win the battle against the deadly opioid epidemic but stopped short of declaring it a national emergency as a White House Commission recommended last week.

Experts have said that declaring a national emergency could help free up federal funding for states dealing with an overdose crisis that, the commission said, kills 142 Americans a day, though some advocates anxious the Trump administration would have used the declaration to return to policies similar to the war on drugs.

The US health secretary, Tom Price, who has in the past questioned the value of science-based opioid treatment, said the federal government is "working together on a comprehensive strategy", which would be presented to the president in the "near future".

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Price said he and other officials met with Trump earlier on Tuesday in what the president had teased as a "major" briefing on the opioid crisis.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 33,000 people across the United States died of opioid overdoses in 2015.

"Second, declaring an emergency allows temporary waivers of many rules regarding federal programs", continued Humphreys.

During his presidential campaign, Trump repeatedly spoke about opioid addiction and its impact in the United States - particularly in rural, lower-income and working-class areas. "Strong law enforcement is absolutely vital to having a drug-free society", Trump said while speaking to media at his New Jersey golf club. She emphasized that the White House takes the opioid crisis seriously, calling it a "nonpartisan issue in search of bipartisan support and bipartisan solutions".

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Trump cast the issue as largely a law enforcement problem, noting that federal drug prosecutions have declined over the last five years. The death of a Tampa high school senior in April - which authorities blamed on opiate intoxication - shows that the deadly drug epidemic is doing the impossible by bringing Republicans and Democrats, red and blue states, young and old and urban and suburban voters alike under the same threat. "If they do start, it's awfully tough to get off", he said.

The President said the "best way to prevent drug addiction and overdose is to prevent people from abusing drugs in the first place". "So they looked at this surge, and they let it go by".

He also vowed to work with doctors and health professionals to help address the causes of opioid addictions. "It is a problem the likes of which we have not seen", he said.

Mr Price was repeatedly asked why the President is not declaring a national emergency, as his opioid commission recommended last week.

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Fact: more than 140 Americans die everyday from overdoses. "Whether that's something that's analogous to that, I don't know", he said. "The opioid epidemic we are facing is unparalleled".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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