Critics say Trump’s opioid announcement doesn’t go far enough

Opioids are responsible for the overwhelming majority of drug deaths, which have grown dramatically from just under 17,000 in 1999 to 52,000 in 2015 — a more than 200 percent increase.

President Trump declared a public health emergency on Thursday to fight the epidemic. But critics were quick to say that does not provide the money needed to get the job done.

Mr. Trump stopped short of declaring the opioid crisis a national emergency, opting instead for a public health emergency declaration. It will streamline some access to addiction treatment but provides few new resources.

“We owe it to our children and to our country to do everything in our power to address this national shame and this human tragedy,” Mr. Trump said.

Financing comes from the public health emergency fund which has a balance of just over $56,000. The federal government estimates combating the crisis costs $75 billion per year. Nearly 12 million people misused opioids last year.

“I’m saying officially, right now, it is an emergency. It’s a national emergency,” Mr. Trump said in August.

The president said he would declare a national opioid emergency which would have provided access to billions in federal funds.

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