States using emergency declarations to fight opioid epidemic
News about opioid abuse continues to dominate national headlines. For the time being, President Trump has decided not to declare the opioid epidemic a national emergency. Instead, he’s indicated he’ll focus on tough law enforcement to combat the problem. Here’s a look from STAT News about what some states are doing.
From STAT- How U.S. states have used emergency declarations to fight the opioid epidemic
In Arizona, it allowed state officials to get daily reports on overdoses. In Alaska, it allowed officials to expand naloxone use. In Massachusetts, it led to new prescription monitoring guidelines and even a controversial ban on a specific painkiller.
But at the national level, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said Tuesday the Trump administration did not yet think it was necessary to declare a state of emergency regarding the opioid crisis. And it is still unclear what invoking such powers would mean for an epidemic that is touching every corner of the country and will likely endure for the foreseeable future.
Most national emergency declarations, which grant the government temporary new powers with little in the way of oversight, have come in response to natural disasters or the spread of infectious diseases like the H1N1 virus. They allow the federal government to redirect military personnel or to relax certain rules so, for example, hospitals can treat diseases off site.
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