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.
“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.