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The Opioid Crisis Is at a Fever Pitch and Now It's a National Emergency

What happened?

President Donald Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency on Thursday.

Drug overdoses are the leading cause of death for Americans under 50, outpacing deaths related to guns or car accidents. Some two million Americans are estimated to have an opioid problem, with around 12 million taking prescription painkillers without direction from a doctor in 2015.

What does Trump’s announcement mean?

Essentially, a public health emergency can receive redirected federal funds but doesn’t get extra money. Some critics say Trump should have declared a “national emergency,” which would have meant more funding.

Glenn’s take:

“It’s not hyperbole to say that the current opioid epidemic is the deadliest drug crisis in all of American history,” he said on today’s show.

Opioids are a huge problem, but can Trump’s rhetoric do anything to help? Glenn listed some problems with Trump’s plan:

  • It’s clunky and vague, not offering specific ways to help people struggling with addiction.
  • It’s basically Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign revamped, with Trump promising “really tough” ads against drugs.
  • It’s yet another opportunity for federal overreach.

Regardless of the governmental interventions, the cure to the opioid crisis ultimately resides with each individual.

This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.

GLENN: 21 people will be dead before this show is over.

Why?

In America, seven lives are lost every hour to drug overdoses.

It’s not hyperbole to say that the current opioid epidemic is the deadliest drug crisis in American history. It’s so bad that President Trump declared the crisis a national health emergency yesterday.

I am impressed with Trump and Melania’s dedication to this issue. It is an honorable cause that desperately needs to be addressed. The opioid addiction is suffocating this country. That stats are truly horrifying.

Overdoses killed more people last year than guns or car accidents, and are doing so at a pace faster than the H.I.V. epidemic at its peak.

In 2015, 2 percent of deaths, one in 50, in the United States were drug-related. Opioid addiction is so bad that it contributed to the US life expectancy dropping for the first time in decades. Trump’s plan to fight this epidemic is clunky, yet noble. Of course, he is going to produce “really tough, really big, really great advertising” to discourage people from getting hooked in the first place a la Nancy Reagan.

But he also said his plan would include a requirement that federally employed prescribers be trained in safe practices for opioid prescriptions, a new federal initiative to develop nonaddictive painkillers, and suspending a rule that currently prevents Medicaid from funding many drug rehabilitation facilities.

It’s a step in the right direction. But the government alone cannot end the opioid epidemic.

Only individuals have the true power to end their addiction.

Ultimately, it falls on us to dig ourselves and our loved ones out of this opioid mire.

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