October 27, 2017
Everyone was expecting it for a long time. Finally, President Trump has declared the health emergency in the backdrop of opioid crisis. The POTUS was speaking to the audience comprised of parents who lost their children to drug abuse, people who have been rehabilitated, and emergency medical responders who had served the cases of drug abuse. The lethal opioids are killing around 100 US citizens a day.
No new dollars are added to fight the crisis but the declaration of the emergency will remain effective for 3 months. It will allow officials to spend already allocated budgets to battle out the crisis. Officials will recommend congress to consider adding money to the health emergency fund. It is worth mentioning that this fund has not been recharged for many years. As of now, it has only $57,000 in its account which is nothing compared to the scale of calamity.
On the other hand, the Attorney General Jeff Sessions declared cannabis responsible for opioid crisis. Speaking at a forum he said, “I do think this whole country needs to not be so lackadaisical about drugs. When you talk to police chiefs, consistently they say much of the addiction starts with marijuana. It’s not a harmless drug. We’ve got to reestablish, first, a view that you should just say no. People should say no to drug use.”
The forum hosted Sessions for discussion on constitutional law but as always he drifted to show his rabid opposition to cannabis use. There has been substantial research material to refute the claims of Sessions. It has been proven that medical cannabis is an effective tool to prevent opioid abuse and in lowering the powerful dosages.
Critics Term the Emergency a No Action Flick
Critics of the current administration thinks that Trump’s declaration will lack any substantial consequences since it doesn’t involve additional money. Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic House leader termed the declaration as, “words without the money”.
Trump’s declaration is also criticized due to his promise to rev up the war on drugs. Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno, representing the group Drug Policy Alliance thinks that more deaths, banishments and imprisonments in the name of drug war will only aggravate the crisis because drug wars tend to do that.
Trump Goes Candid
In his declaration speech, Trump remembered his brother who died while fighting with alcoholism and that’s also the reason behind Trump’s alcohol-free lifestyle. He also hinted about devising an advertisement campaign to say no to drugs in order to educate the younger population about the perils of drug abuse.
Even during its campaigning run, in many of his speeches all across the US, he reiterated his promise to make fight against drug abuse his property. Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie applauded trump’s declaration of public health emergency regarding opioids.
What will be changed after the declaration?
Even though no additional money is provided to tackle the crisis, nevertheless, there might be improvement due to following reasons:
- Expansion of telemedicine services to remote and rural localities for drug abuse treatment
- Funds from AIDs and HIV program will be reallocated to treat substance abuse
- Swift deployment of respective federal and state staff for the cause
It remains to be seen whether Trump’s actions will have a positive results, or turn the crisis for the worse.