Health Care

Trump Opioid Declaration Focuses Attention on Epidemic, but Doesn't Alter Policy

Trump Opioid Declaration Focuses Attention on Epidemic, but Doesn't Alter Policy”

He says it's a way to help treatment centers deal with staffing shortages.

ME addiction experts and some members of the state's congressional delegation said President Trump's declaration of the opioid crisis as a public health emergency is an important step but believe what happens next is more critical.

State health officials report that 637 people in Minnesota lost their lives a year ago to drug overdoses. He's director of the Arizona Public Health Association and a former director of the state Department of Health Services. "They're part of a public health response".

Those costs being families who have lost loved ones and costs to the taxpayers as a result of the epidemic.

"Right now, it's not a place where people are going to make a lot of money and when you have a heavy student debt load, then it undermines our ability to get and attract good quality clinicians", Craig says.

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Wilkerson said the hospital gives out some of the medications like naloxone. He hopes that President Trump deeming the crisis as a health emergency will mean more access to funding for treatment in Milwaukee County.

More money for treatment is something Mayor Tom Barrett hopes for as well.

"While I appreciate that the president has finally taken a formal step, his declaration is short on specifics and lacks critical funding", she said.

As far as the lawsuits against the pharmaceutical companies, Barrett says he supports the idea and is ready to sign off. Lawsuits could apply pressure on the companies to be more responsible in how they dispense these drugs. Overdose deaths in ME have climbed at a rate that has been among the highest of any state over the past four years.

Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen said on average two people die every day in Baltimore City due to overdosing. Steele provided a list of accomplishments, including strengthening opioid prescribing limits, increasing funding for medication assisted treatment and creating a new treatment model called opioid health homes.



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