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President Trump Declaring Opioid Crisis a National Emergency

President Trump Declaring Opioid Crisis a National Emergency

Back in August, the Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis began urging President Trump to declare a national public health emergency to combat the opioid crisis that has crippled countless communities around America. While the President did soon enough say that he believed the opioid epidemic was indeed a national emergency, the actual official process has yet to begin. However, just this week news broke that President Trump will soon formally declare the “national emergency” status of the opioid crisis.

Reports indicate President Trump plans to make the official declaration next week. It seems appropriate following the explosive exposé following the story on ’60 Minutes’ of former DEA agent Joe Rannazzisi pointing a finger at Big Pharma companies, Congress, and lobbyists for fueling the opioid epidemic.

In fact, Republican Representative Tom Marino, who was the top pick for the Trump administrations Drug Czar, was name-dropped in a less than flattering light in the ’60 Minutes’ piece. Reports today now show Marino has withdrawn from consideration following the story.

So what does this newest revelation mean for combatting the opioid crisis?

Raising Awareness

One of the initial reasons for declaring a national emergency is pretty straight-forward; raising awareness. Not that we don’t see enough shocking news stories or warnings from local officials being issued in various states, but more attention on the issue will help channel more resources into actually helping address it.

As the commission states in their report:

“It would also awaken every American to this simple fact: if this scourge has not found you or your family yet, without bold action by everyone, it soon will,”

“You, Mr. President, are the only person who can bring this type of intensity to the emergency, and we believe you have the will to do so and to do so immediately.”

When the President of the United States says something is a priority, people take notice. Regardless of whether people always agree on politics, when we can all get behind a major issue and put effort into a more inclusive conversation, there is a better chance more can be done.

Overcoming Addiction Stigma

One of the most important aspects of fighting addiction is overcoming the addiction stigma itself. Many people who are suffering do not get the help they need because they are afraid of the stereotypes associated with drug abuse. A lot of people still doubt what the majority of the medical and scientific communities have adopted as fact; that addiction is a health issue, not a moral failing.

By declaring the opioid crisis a national emergency, President Trump has an opportunity to promote education along with public awareness. The more we can help people to understand how addiction affects the mind and body, the better odds we have of supporting those struggling with compassionate and effective treatment options.

Funding for Fighting Opioids

Perhaps one of the biggest hopes for many addiction recovery advocates is that by President Trump declaring the opioid crisis a national emergency he will influence lawmakers to allocate more funding to resources combatting addiction.

A federal declaration would also allow the government to pull funding from other areas as well, such as funding used for the Public Health Emergency Fund, or even the federal Disaster Relief Fund. So while America has been struck pretty hard by hurricanes and natural disasters, some of this same funding may end up going toward creating addiction resources.

One thing many are hoping is that these new funds will also go to promoting more addiction treatment options across the country. Some states may pursue incentives for performance-based enhanced care management (ECM) program, like one recently implemented in New Jersey. Others may put those resources into prevention and education initiatives.

One thing should seem pretty clear; treatment options should be a priority. We already know we cannot arrest our way out of this problem. The War on Drugs did not work, and many do not expect it will now either. With President Trump declaring the national emergency, hopefully, the new effort will go into protecting mental health and substance abuse parity with healthcare and insurance providers. If we have more ways to help those already desperately in need, we could see a better chance for a way out.

With the CDC stating an estimated 91 Americans dying every single day from opioid-related death, which many experts believe is grossly underreported, helping more people fighting opioid addiction find a way out is crucial. However, we should not wait on politicians, health officials or anyone else to fix it. Recovery takes action. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free now. We want to help.

 CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398

President Trump Plan for Opioid Crisis Sounds Like ‘Just Say No’

President Trump Plan for Opioid Crisis Sounds Like ‘Just Say No’

President Donald Trump promised a “major briefing” via his favorite publication… twitter… this Tuesday morning. Many people were expecting something big related to the request from the national opioid commission to declare a state of emergency for the opioid epidemic. But alas, this was not the case. President Trump made no announcement on new policies in the fight against opioids. Instead, he made a comment that sounds a lot like Nancy Reagan telling everyone to ‘just say no’ in the 80s, and we all know how well that worked.

This is concerning to so many who put stock in President Trump when he said he would make fighting the opioid epidemic a priority. Yet, so many feel like he is absent on the subject when it comes to establishing any initiatives or taking proactive action.

President Trump vowed on Tuesday that the United States will “win” the battle against the heroin and opioid outbreak. But instead of presenting a plan to support and reinforce treatment initiatives and other programs, the focus on his comments were claims to-

 “- protect innocent citizens from drug dealers that poison our communities.”

The closer we look at the administration’s latest actions, the more it seems like this administration prefers the failed ‘just say no’ and War on Drugs mentality than actually offering a progressive answer.

President Trump Says Drugs are Bad

Probably the one part people are most annoyed with is when President Trump stated:

“Maybe by talking to youth and telling them ‘no good, really bad for you in every way’, but if they don’t start it will never be a problem.”

I feel like most of us did a good old fashion face-palm on this one… because DUH! We know drugs are bad (thanks Mr. Mackey) and we know talking to kids about drugs matters. That is why programs like Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) have been around for decades. However, we also know from D.A.R.E.’s track record that this kind of program hasn’t been particularly successful at stopping drug use either!

While giving this latest briefing from his 17 day “working vacation” from his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, President Trump also stated:

“The best way to prevent drug addiction and overdose is to prevent people from abusing drugs in the first place,”

“I’m confident that by working with our health care and law enforcement experts, we will fight this deadly epidemic and the United States will win.”

Now while it is true that addiction can’t technically develop if someone never uses substances, this still sounds a lot like ‘just say no’, which we all know does not work as a drug policy. Prevention is key and maybe with more detail about Trump’s plan on how to prevent drug use we could see where this comment is going. But as it stands, these comments just sound like more of the same.

After all, Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Session does seem to agree with the old War on Drugs tactics. Why, we may never know.

It is incredibly frustrating to advocates and experts involved in the addiction recovery community, as well as for citizens all across the nation who are hoping for some real change. Why- because we know that ‘just say know’ failed. We tried to just tell kids that drugs are bad for them and not to do them, but the epidemic still happened! And needless to say, just saying no is not going to help us with the overwhelming rates of addiction, overdose and death that we are already dealing with.

Far beyond that, understanding and overcoming addiction is about a lot more than just knowing its bad for you.

Is President Trump Ignoring Suggestions?

The president himself appointed the opioid commission, chaired by Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Only a week ago the panel urged President Trump to “declare a national emergency”, citing the tragically high overdose and death rates across the country. In the report issued by the opioid commission there were numerous recommendations that many were hopeful would come to fruition as soon as possible. Among these recommendations there is:

  • Expanding treatment facilities across the country
  • Educating and equipping doctors about the proper way to prescribe pain medication
  • Equipping all police officers with the anti-overdose remedy Naloxone

All of these suggestions seem like they would make a pretty big impact on the current predicament. Empowering treatment providers in more of the U.S. can help get more addicts off the streets and introduce them to the option of getting well. Putting more power in the hands of doctors to safely and effectively provide medications could help reduce the staggeringly high prescription drug abuse rates. Giving the overdose antidote to more first responders could save so many more lives.

And yet, President Trump did not address a single one of these recommendations, or event suggest that one of them was on his current to-do list.

Instead, he went back to his go-to argument for solving all of our problems… our borders. Again, President Trump doesn’t give any indication as to planning for expanding treatment or Naloxone access. Nope… he just promises to be-

 “-very, very strong on our Southern border.”

Did he talk about training doctors in order to avoid issues with prescription drugs? Nope. Instead he claimed:

“We’re talking to China, where certain forms of man-made drug comes in and it is bad,”

Yes, again we understand… ‘drugs are bad… mmmkay.’ But seriously, this is not the first time that this administration has shifted the focus from helping treat those who have suffered from drug addiction to ‘tough on crime’ tactics and border security. But time and time again experts in law enforcement and drug policy insist that the answer is not in attacking the supply side, but in treating those who suffer now.

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price told reporters they haven’t taken anything off the table, but that they believe at this point the necessary resources and focus can be addressed without an official declaration. However, looking at what declaring the emergency would have done, why would doing it be a bad thing?

Why a National Emergency Matters

The reality is, we are all well aware of the severity of the opioid epidemic by now. However, declaring a national emergency does actually count for something.

If President Trump were to declare a national emergency it would speak volumes to the scope of the issue on a national platform. Also, coming from one of the highest authorities in the nation, it would have opened the door to making those other suggestions happen.

According to Juliet Sorensen, a professor at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, Trump’s declaration could have:

  • Allowed the executive branch to direct federal funds to expand treatment facilities
  • President Trump would have also been able to direct funds to equip police with Naloxone
  • Allowed him to provide the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Agency and other law enforcement agencies with more money to focus on the manufacturers and smugglers of dangerous drugs like fentanyl

But maybe one of the biggest impacts it could have had would have been on the rest of the House and the Senate. Fighting the opioid epidemic is one of the very few topics in politics right now that has bipartisan congressional support. Declaring a national emergency could give President Trump the perfect opportunity to unite both sides of the aisle and create cooperation and momentum.

This is a vital issue that should absolutely be a priority. Therefore, the idea of returning to an archaic, outdated philosophy concerning drug use is annoying at the least and potentially terrifying for some. The epidemic shows no sign of stopping anytime soon. Maybe it is time to do more than just tell people drugs are bad. If we want to do some good, we need to support each other with compassion.

Palm Healthcare Company values compassionate, comprehensive and innovative holistic treatment opportunities to help save the lives of those that are suffering, and we encourage professionals, community leaders and family members to get involved in helping change lives for the better. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free now.

CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398

American Opioid Commission Calls for State of Emergency

 American Opioid Commission Calls for State of Emergency

America knows all too well the devastation of opioid addiction. With an overdose outbreak that has been progressively damaging and related death rates becoming increasingly alarming, we have reached new depths of drug-induced desperation. Therefore, the news from the Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis is not all that shocking. The panel charged with examining the nation’s opioid epidemic is now urging the President to declare a national public health emergency to combat the ongoing crisis.

When we look at the history of American presidents announcing a ‘state of emergency’ it typically has to do with national security, foreign policy and war, or natural disasters and viral illness. So, to put the issue of addiction up next to these drastic calls to action might just bring a new level of intensity to battling opioid addiction in America.

American overdose deaths involving opioids have quadrupled since 1999. From 2000 to 2015, more than 500,000 people died of drug overdoses. The majority of these overdose deaths have opioids involved.

In America, drug overdoses now kill more people than gun homicides and car crashes combined.

Opioid Commission Calls for Action

The Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was enlisted as the chair of the opioid commission back in March. The opioid commission also includes:

  • Democrat Governor Roy Cooper of North Carolina
  • Former Democratic Representative Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island
  • Republican Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts

At the time the commission was created Chris Christie said the idea behind the administration’s new approach to fighting addiction would focus a lot on assisting the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This week the opioid commission’s statement calling for the President’s immediate action states:

“Our citizens are dying. We must act boldly to stop it. The first and most urgent recommendation of this Commission is direct and completely within your control. Declare a national emergency.”

While insisting that the administration put forth an emergency declaration, the specially appointed opioid commission said that Trump is the-

“-only person who can bring this type of intensity to the emergency and we believe you have the will to do so and to do so immediately.”

The opioid commission was deliberate in the details, acknowledging that with 142 Americans dying every day from drug overdoses-

“America is enduring a death toll equal to September 11th every three weeks.”

When you think about it in this context, the statistics become even more startling and horrifying. The fact that so many men, women and even children in America are losing their lives to drugs like heroin and prescription pain medication. The opioid commission went on to say:

“Your declaration would empower your cabinet to take bold steps and would force Congress to focus on funding and empowering the Executive Branch even further to deal with this loss of life,”

“It would also awaken every American to this simple fact: If this scourge has not found you or your family yet, without bold action by everyone, it soon will.”

In the last few months there has been some waves of criticism against the opioid commission after missing two deadlines to release this report in June and July. Now that the report is finally here, what can be done to address the concerns the opioid commission brings with it?

Will the White House Take Action?

According to initial reports the White House intends to “immediately” review the recommendations of the opioid commission. In the statement from the White House:

“The opioid crisis is a tragedy that has been harming America’s communities for far too long. We appreciate the Commission’s hard work on this important interim report. We will immediately begin reviewing its recommendations, and eagerly await its final report.”

The final report from the opioid commission is expected to be submitted during October. Still, many are hoping the Trump administration does not wait that long to start planning for a response.

The opioid commission made many recommendations in the interim report for efforts to curb the opioid epidemic and the increasingly high death rates. Those recommendations include:

  • Rapidly increase treatment capacity for those who need substance abuse help
  • Establish and fund better access to medication-assisted treatment programs
  • Make sure that health care providers are aware of the potential for misuse and abuse of prescription opioids by enhancing prevention efforts at medical and dental schools
  • Equipping all law enforcement in the United States with naloxone to save lives

Naloxone is the opioid overdose antidote used by first responders to save people overdose victims. So far access to Naloxone and Narcan, the name brand, has expanded, but many think not nearly enough.

With the fight for healthcare in Congress seeming to hit every rough patch possible on the road to settling on legislation, people are already worried about how coverage may or may not change for tens of millions of Americans. So the concern for how to face a growing addiction problem while simultaneously afflicted with a potential healthcare crisis is very real for a lot of people.

Time will tell if the Trump administration acts on the suggestion to declare a state of emergency to call more action toward the opioid epidemic. And if they do declare it, what will change?

Palm Healthcare Company Offering Holistic Health

While Palm Healthcare Company is not qualified to fix all the problems in politics, we do believe in providing quality care to as many men and women struggling as possible. Palm Healthcare Company facilities create a safe, comfortable and effective environment to experience powerful and life-changing courses and treatments focused on holistic health.

While the opioid epidemic may not be an easy issue to solve, Palm Healthcare Company believes in helping those who have suffered from addiction to opioids and/or other drugs find a new way and a second chance. With medical detox, personalized inpatient and outpatient treatment options and aftercare opportunities such as Recovery Coaching, Palm Healthcare Company wants to support every part of your journey.

Overcoming the opioid epidemic means helping those who have suffered heal.

Drug abuse and addiction is a devastating and deadly disease, and providing effective and compassionate treatment makes a lifelong difference. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, think about who you want to be working with to find a real solution. Please call toll-free now.

CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398

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