UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — U.S. President Donald Trump is declaring the opioid epidemic a “national emergency.”
Trump’s vowing to invest time, effort and money to combat the rising number of overdose deaths gripping the the United States.
The Department of Health and Human services reports 12.5 million people misused prescription opioids in 2015, and more than 33,000 died from opioid overdoses.
Opioids are a specific class of drugs that includes illegal substances like heroin as well as prescription painkillers like morphine.
On Aug. 10, Trump told reporters at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club that documents are being prepared to support his impromptu declaration.
Just two days earlier, HHS Secretary Tom Price suggested the nationwide crisis could be addressed without an emergency declaration.
Two recent public health crises that led to such declarations include the Zika outbreak in Puerto Rico and the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy along the East Coast.