As Faithwire has reported, the crippling heroin and opioid epidemic currently sweeping the United States is tragically tearing families apart, overburdening local police and hospitals, and claiming the lives of people of all ages. In an effort to thwart the ongoing “crisis,” a commission led by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is now urging President Donald Trump to declare a federal state of emergency.
A recently released 10-page report from the Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis found that drug overdoses now kill more people than car crashes and gun homicides combined. Referring to to data from the Centers for Disease Control that estimates an astonishing 142 Americans die each day from a drug overdose, the report explains that opioids are considered to be a major contributor to the addiction and overdose problem, with Americans communing the drugs at a higher rate than any other country in the world.
With that in mind, the commission has concluded that its most prudent and urgent recommendation is for the president to “declare a national emergency under either the Public Health Service Act or the Stafford Act,” so that the federal government could move quickly to secure the funds needed to expand addiction treatment facilities and waive existing Medicaid exclusions that place the burden of caring for people with substance abuse issues squarely on the states.
Additionally, the report suggests increasing the ease of sharing the data collected by state-based prescription drug monitoring programs, as to help physicians in prescribing and local law enforcement in trying abuse cases.
A further review of the crisis is underway, with a larger synopsis due later this year. Ultimately, the Christie-led group believes it is time for the federal government to step in and give state and local governments the tools they need to fight back against the crisis in their own communities.
“It is not only critical that the Federal Government provide sufficient resources to prevent and combat this disease; it must also provide the easiest pathway for private providers and local and state governments to achieve success,” the report reads. “That is why the Commission, as a primary focus of the final report, is undertaking a full-scale review of federal programs, regulations, laws, and funding mechanisms targeted toward addressing addiction.”
Read the report HERE.