How does California fit into the opioid crisis?

Joy Montgomery
October 28, 2017

More than 140 people in the United States die each day from opioid overdose, according to NPR. Trump spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the formal declaration was delayed because of the "in-depth legal process" required to do so.

Trump said the Federal Drug Administration is requiring drug companies to provide a more training to prescribers and he promised to prosecute "bad actors" who illegally prescribe opiates. The declaration doesn't make new funds available to deal with the crisis as much as it allows for the redirection of existing funds. "This was an idea that I had, where if we can teach young people not to take drugs - just not to take them", Trump said. A statement from Christie said the commission will give Trump "an even more comprehensive set of recommendations" to fight opioids in a report to be issued November 1.

The president shared a personal story of his experience with addiction, through his brother Fred, who struggled with alcohol.

First Lady Melania Trump joined her husband in the East Wing to offer prayers to those fighting and recovering from drug addiction.

Trump will sign a presidential memorandum that will order the Department of Health and Human Services the declare the public health emergency and direct all federal agencies to use any emergency powers at their disposal to reduce opioid deaths.

The Public Health Emergency Fund now contains just $57,000, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, a negligible amount.

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The declaration is limited, falling far short of the steps experts say is necessary to combat the crisis. "I'll tell you what, we've made a big impact, but still, we need the wall".

Senior administration officials told reporters Thursday morning the declaration will give states more flexibility to use federal funds, although it will not come with specific funds.

These steps include prosecuting distributors of fentanyl, a deadly synthetic opioid, and strengthening guidelines for how opioids are prescribed for pain.

The opioid commission's chairman, New Jersey Gov Chris Christie, applauded Trump's actions, saying on Twitter that Trump is "doing what we asked of him".

Trump said that his administration would announce a new policy that would "overcome" the rule, suggesting officials would focus on granting waivers that allow states to expand treatment options. It has developed into one of the nation's most urgent public health issues, claiming a life every 19 minutes, according to the U.S. Surgeon General.

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