Some States Say Declaring An Emergency Has Helped In The Opioid Fight

NPR – Health officials awaiting news from President Trump's briefing on opioids Tuesday didn't, in the end, get much about what the White House plans to do about the growing crisis.

While he acknowledged the severity of the problem and the threat opioids pose to all Americans, Trump did not talk about expanding addiction treatment or access to the overdose-reversal drug naloxone, two of the recommendations his commission on opioids made in its interim report last week.

Nor did Trump act on the commission's recommendation to declare the epidemic a national emergency. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said Tuesday that such a declaration is usually reserved for "time-limited" problems such as the Zika outbreak.

While there has been debate among addiction treatment specialists over what a national emergency declaration would achieve, a handful of states have found the move helpful. The health news website STAT reports that six states have used disaster or emergency declarations in order to take more aggressive measures to fight opioids.

Read more at NPR.