Trump declares opioid crisis a 'national emergency'

August 11, 2017

US President Donald Trump said Thursday that the opioid crisis in the United States constitutes a "national emergency" and pledged to step up efforts to fight the epidemic.

"The opioid crisis is an emergency," Trump told reporters at his New Jersey country club, where he is on a two-week working vacation. "It's a .

"We're going to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money on the opioid crisis," the president said. "It is a serious problem, the likes of which we have never had."

Trump's declaration of a "national emergency" came two days after he held a meeting with top advisers to discuss tackling the drug problem.

Trump "has instructed his Administration to use all appropriate emergency and other authorities to respond to the crisis caused by the opioid epidemic," a statement issued by his office said.

Prescription painkillers and heroin contributed to some 60,000 overdose deaths in the United States in 2016, a 19 percent surge over the previous year, according to an estimate compiled by the New York Times.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whose Department of Justice last week announced a new 'Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit', added: "This nation has never seen anywhere close to these numbers, and for each death, many more suffer debilitating addictions."

An estimated two to three million people are hooked on or heroin, according to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, and 90 people die every day in the United States from overdoses.

Explore further: U.S. opioid crisis continues to worsen

Related Stories

U.S. opioid crisis continues to worsen

August 8, 2017
(HealthDay)—Drug overdose deaths continue to climb in the United States, despite efforts to combat the nation's ongoing opioid addiction crisis, a new federal report states.

Opioids commission recommends that Trump declare a national emergency

August 1, 2017
The White House commission on opioid addiction has recommended that President Donald Trump declare a national emergency over the epidemic that each day kills dozens of Americans.

Doctors at heart of US opioid crisis

August 10, 2017
When 55-year-old Sheila Bartels left her doctor's office in Oklahoma, she had a prescription for 510 painkillers.

More Australians dying of accidental overdose of pharmaceutical opioids

July 24, 2017
In a reversal of the heroin epidemic of the late 90s and early 2000s, older Australians aged 35 to 54 are now more likely to die from an opioid overdose, a new report reveals.

US opioid crisis at epidemic proportions

May 4, 2017
Many US communities are facing an epidemic of opioid and heroin abuse that is straining resources from police, to jails, to emergency medical personnel and treatment centers.

Americans favor treatment, not enforcement, to address opioid crisis

May 23, 2017
Many Americans have been directly touched by the opioid crisis—more than a quarter of Americans and more than a third of millennials, report knowing someone who has been addicted to opioids or prescription painkillers. ...

Recommended for you

Probiotic use may reduce antibiotic prescriptions, researchers say

September 14, 2018
Use of probiotics is linked to reduced need for antibiotic treatment in infants and children, according to a review of studies that probed the benefits of probiotics, say researchers in the U.S., England and the Netherlands.

Recalled blood pressure drugs not linked to increased short term cancer risk

September 12, 2018
Products containing the withdrawn blood pressure drug valsartan are not associated with a markedly increased short term risk of cancer, finds an expedited analysis published by The BMJ today.

Sugar pills relieve pain for chronic pain patients

September 12, 2018
Someday doctors may prescribe sugar pills for certain chronic pain patients based on their brain anatomy and psychology. And the pills will reduce their pain as effectively as any powerful drug on the market, according to ...

A new approach for finding Alzheimer's treatments

September 11, 2018
Considering what little progress has been made finding drugs to treat Alzheimer's disease, Maikel Rheinstädter decided to come at the problem from a totally different angle—perhaps the solution lay not with the peptide ...

One in four older adults prescribed a benzodiazepine goes on to risky long-term use

September 10, 2018
They may start as well-intentioned efforts to calm anxiety, improve sleep or ease depression. But prescriptions for sedatives known as benzodiazepines may lead to long-term use among one in four older adults who receive them, ...

Clinical need absent, unclear in nearly 30 percent of outpatient opioid prescriptions

September 10, 2018
Nearly 30 percent of outpatient opioid prescriptions in the United States lack documented clinical reasons that justify the use of these potent drugs, according to a national analysis of physician visit records conducted ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.