Image 01 Image 03

Trump Declares Opioid Crisis a ‘Public Health Emergency’

Trump Declares Opioid Crisis a ‘Public Health Emergency’

“citizens across our country are currently dealing with the worst drug crisis in American history”

Trump gave a great speech Thursday, declaring the opioid crisis a public health emergency. Trump often spoke of the crisis while campaigning and is preparing to take steps to deal with the problem.

Barnini Chakraborty reports at FOX News:

Trump declares opioid crisis a ‘public health emergency’

Calling it a “national shame” and “human tragedy,” President Trump on Thursday declared the opioid epidemic crippling American communities a “public health emergency” and pledged federal resources to help combat the growing problem.

“Addressing it will require all of our effort, and it will require us to confront the crisis in all of its real complexity,” Trump said during a speech in the East Room of the White House.

“As Americans, we cannot allow this to continue,” Trump said. “It is time to liberate our communities from the scourge. … We can be the generation that ends the opioid epidemic.”

Trump spoke to an audience at the White House that included family members of those affected by the opioid crisis, as well as several administration officials and elected leaders.

The president, who said “not one part of American society has been spared” from the crisis, stopped short of calling it a national emergency, something he previously promised he’d do. The announcement follows months of debate on how to tackle the problem.

…Trump signed a presidential memo that directs acting Health and Human Services Secretary Eric Hargan to declare a public health emergency under the Public Health Services Act — which directs federal agencies to provide more grant money to combat the epidemic.

Here’s a partial transcript of Trump’s speech via Town and Country:

Thank you, Melania for your moving words and deep devotion. I can tell you to our nation and children. Thank you all to members of Congress, my cabinet, governors, members of Congress, state, local leaders, first responders and health care professionals gathered here today. We have some truly incredible people in this room that I can tell you.

Most importantly, we acknowledge the families present who have lost a cherished loved one. As you all know from personal experience, families, communities and citizens across our country are currently dealing with the worst drug crisis in American history.

And even, if you really think about it, world history. This is all throughout the world. The fact is this is a world-wide problem. This crisis of drug use, addiction, and overdose deaths in many years, it’s just been so long in the making, addressing it will require all of our effort and require us to confront the crisis in all of its very real complexity. 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 unintentionally death in the United States by far. More people are dying from drug overdoses today than from gun homicides and motor vehicles combined.

Read the rest here.

Watch it all below:

If you want to see a shortened version, you’re in luck. Trump tweeted one:

Featured image via YouTube.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


Oh boy, another “war on drugs”, only this time called something else.

I’m sure it will be every bit as effective as the last one.

    And he’s calling on us to tell our children to “just say no.”
    It’s like we’ve slipped back in time, to the “solutions” that didn’t work 25 years ago.

    Casey in reply to tom_swift. | October 27, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    What, there’s something wrong with automatic minimum sentences which give more jail time to someone buying an ounce of coke to a rapist or murderer? {/sarc}

    I followed the following discussion, and can say I’ve heard from many vets who complain they just can’t get prescriptions from the VA for genuine, acute pain. Unending pain, in fact.

    Perhaps that is turning around, from what I’ve read here. I agree that claiming the sky is falling (again) over drug use is non-productive. It didn’t work for Reagan or Clinton.

    P.J. O’Rourke wrote an article about the alarm at the time, and ended his article by mentioning a (white affluent) friend of his who’s son had been busted for dealing. Since the family had money, their first concern was pleading down to a lesser charge (first time offender) so the kid could avoid jail.

    Not many inner city black kids enjoy those kind of resources.

    To steal a line from the Instapundit, I’ll believe it’s an emergency when the alarmists act like it’s an emergency. That includes holding everyone to the same standard.

As a Nurse I can tell you it is getting scary.

Also one of the biggest over prescribers of Opioid painkillers?


The VA!

I have literally seen people come out of the VA with 3 bottles of Oxycontin that are the size of Red Bull Cans, not terminal cancer patients mind you, but they prescribe it for simple back pain just to get rid of people.

    You can’t see pain nor quantify it at a distance. You appear to assume that if the people are not on crutches and wincing in pain, they are undeserving of care.

    Pain medications do mask pain, so people who suffer may look more agile than their underlying, untreated condition supports.

    if the VA is failing to take frequent urine samples to verify that the medications are being taken by the patient and not diverted, or if you have verified that the patient does not have a non-treatable source of pain, then we should be concerned. Otherwise you’re playing doctor without a diagnosis.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to Hub. | October 27, 2017 at 7:37 pm

      Actually with 22+ years as a nurse I am a hell of a lot more qualified to make that determination than you are.

      Also since I was speaking of people I know personally or patients that I have treated personally then I am pretty sure I know what I am talking about.

      So I’m not the one making an ASSumptions, you are and as with most assumptions you make an ass out of yourself and uption.

      Also..VA…Urine samples…proper follow up…ROFLMAO!!!

      You really have no idea what you are talking about.

      “Otherwise you’re playing doctor without a diagnosis.”

      LMAO, and you are making asinine assumptions with a room temperature IQ. I didn’t diagnose a damn thing. I stated what I have seen in my practice. So next time you encounter one of my statements it might behoove you to ask me to clarify instead of throwing out dispersions.

Problem will be that people that really need pain medicine will have to jump through so many hoops just to access them. Drs will be paranoid to prescribe or under prescribe yet the black market will be doing great, it’s prohibition all over again.

I don’t have an answer, and clearly opioids are very addicting, very, just ask Rush.

But there is no easy answer to opioids. When life is hard, and it is, it’s an easy escape, at least for awhile, and then it isn’t.

    healthguyfsu in reply to gonzotx. | October 27, 2017 at 9:30 am

    What’s the alternative solution?

      healthguyfsu in reply to healthguyfsu. | October 27, 2017 at 9:32 am

      That wasn’t meant to be combative because I saw your last sentence, but we can’t just roll over on opioids like prohibition on alcohol since legalizing this particular drug would be heinous negligence.

The big problem is that when people run out of legal pain killers or money to pay for them, they turn to illegal pain killers like heroin. THAT is the opiod epidemic. It is so bad here in my little state of Vermont that all of the boxes where people used to donate used clothes have disappeared because nobody will empty them for fear of getting stuck with a dirty needle, public restrooms in government buildings (and others) often contain a needle-disposal box and every first responder around walks around with at least one dose of Narcan. They go through the stuff at a pretty fair clip too.

    healthguyfsu in reply to Granny. | October 27, 2017 at 10:43 am

    Not asking you to read the mind of an addict but I am curious what leads to these needles ending up in the donation boxes? Why are they put there in the first place?

Apparently, by declaring a ‘Public Health Emergency’, it enables the release of funds to deal with the crisis of .. get this .. $86,000

Critics are saying it’s too little, but more importantly, it shows just how low importance a ‘Public Health Emergency’ registered on the radars of politicians long before Trump came to town.

    So how how many taxpayer dollars, Big Government fan, would it take to “fix” the heroin epidemic? $860,000? $8,600,000? $86,000,000? How many taxpayer dollars have we already thrown at the War On Drugs in the last 25 years, only to end up with record numbers of overdoses from illegal drugs?

ufo destroyers | October 27, 2017 at 9:39 am

Not sure why it is now coming to this. Spring of 2005 I started a new job with my state’s Medicaid program. I was part of the fiscal department that was trying to rein in costs of the program. Part of my job was to look at drug costs. The number one prescribed, greatest number of pills dispensed, and most dollars the program spent were all in the pain killer categories. This was exacerbated by the Oxycontin prices because it was relatively new and also the hydrocodone cheapness.

This opioid epidemic is nothing new. Pain clinics, the VA mentioned above, and lack of imagination or willingness or time on the part of doctors to treat patients correctly has fueled the prescription side of the equation. Throw millions of Obamacare and Medicaid and Medicare (baby boomers aging) recipients into the medical pool suddenly and no commensurate increase in hospital or medical professionals leave those in the pool just throwing pills at their patients to get them out of the office to see the next patient. Rinse and repeat daily.

What is new is that the heroin is getting cheaper because we’ve allowed the Afghans to start growing poppies again. Add in cheap Chinese fentanyl and you get dead people. Seem couterintuitive on the part of the dealers that you’d want to kill off your customers by lacing the drugs. But we never said dealers or users were smart.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to ufo destroyers. | October 27, 2017 at 9:42 am

    Also the lack of research dollars granted to studying alternative forms of pain control.

    healthguyfsu in reply to ufo destroyers. | October 27, 2017 at 10:49 am

    “Throw millions of Obamacare and Medicaid and Medicare (baby boomers aging) recipients into the medical pool suddenly and no commensurate increase in hospital or medical professionals leave those in the pool just throwing pills at their patients to get them out of the office to see the next patient. Rinse and repeat daily.”

    Not just the increased pool but the ridiculous paperwork pushing involved that presents a huge time cost to health care providers to properly treat their patients.

    Medicare is already a losing proposition to PT clinics. The ratio of hour requirements to pay disbursal are ridiculous and cause many physical therapy clinics to flat out lose money on Medicare patients. This leads to very minimal schedule availability for Medicare patients, which leads to a very poor PT compliance rate. And it doesn’t take a genius to see why inadequate PT can lead to more pain pill scripts.

The only medical issue the government needs to be involved in is hemorrhoids. At least they have some experience with assholes.

Legalize all drugs. The cure is worse than the disease.

It is an illegal seizure of power by the feds.

One thing we need are better pain relievers. That requires on-going research into the pathophysiology and psychology of pain. Pharma and NIH research would help there.

Another thing we need is better education on pain management and treatment of pain for physicians and other providers. A lot of docs still don’t get the principles of best practices in pain management.

A third thing we need is time — docs and APNs right now are so much on the clock, particularly in primary care encounters, that it is hard to take the time to listen to patients and figure out the best way forward.

No easy answers as said above.

Pain management and drug abuse are two different issues, with some overlap wrt opioids.

Time was, chronic pain was addressed by “suck it up” attitudes.

More recently, the medical community realized that pain is a serious impediment to health and recovery. It became a priority to ameliorate pain. That may have gone too far in the direction of a fad.

Still, the danger here is that people who really need the relief that opioids provide will be denied access to them.

People who are prone to abuse drugs will generally find them. They just will be more expensive, less pure, and more dangerous.

The interests of those who need pain relief far outweigh the interests of those who would abuse pain medication. The instantiation and expansion of the war on drugs has been used to fund and waste millions of dollars pursuing intrusive and generally unfruitful law enforcement efforts.

Don’t forget the wall…stop the Heroine.
That is the obvious one.

Here at the State level, we have drug programs, Methadone Clinics, Over-dose deaths and the Federal Government hasn’t lifted a finger to defend the border.
Isn’t that their very first responsibility?

We should be able to demand damages due to negligence of office..