"The opioid crisis is an emergency, and I'm saying officially, right now, it is an emergency", Trump said at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
At a Bedminster, N.J., news conference with Vice President Pence, Trump said he planned to spend a lot of time and money on addressing the opioid epidemic.
The president is in the middle of a 17-day "working vacation" at his Bedminster golf club, and he tweeted on Monday that he's "going to NY next week for more meetings". A national emergency declaration could make a psychological, as well as practical, difference, he told the BDN, if it is followed with the coherent policies in the commission report.
They've increased access to treatment and overdose-reversing drugs like naloxone, while encouraging doctors to find other ways to treat pain, since many opioid addicts start out on prescription drugs before turning to illicit sources.
Three days into his first extended getaway as president, Donald Trump wanted to tell everyone he's not really vacation - and if we're counting tweets, POTUS has certainly been keeping busy. In it, Trump said, "We are becoming a drug-addicted nation and most the drugs are coming from Mexico or certainly from the southern border", and singled out New Hampshire as "a drug-infested den".
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"The DPRK must choose to stop isolating itself and stand down its pursuit of nuclear weapons", he explained in an official statement.
The president did not offer details of what his emergency declaration would entail, and he said his administration is working on the paperwork needed for the emergency declaration to take effect.
Ryan, Co-Chairman of the Congressional Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus was one of the several lawmakers to sign a letter calling on the President to declare the epidemic a national emergency.
National emergencies tend to be declared after natural disasters or to stop the spread of infectious diseases. "I have to say this in all fairness, this is a worldwide problem, not just a United States problem". You know when I was growing up they had the LSD and they had certain generations of drugs.
Trump's remarks Thursday came after his commission on combatting drug abuse issued an "urgent" recommendation last week that he issue an emergency declaration.
In March, Trump established the President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, which is led by New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie. Advocates have pushed for flexibility about issues like Medicaid-funded addiction treatment.
Expanding Medicaid is a striking contrast to the administration's efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the law better known as Obamacare. New government data show an increase in opioid overdose deaths during the first three quarters of a year ago, an indication that efforts to curb the epidemic are not working.