The United States raising state of public health emergency on opioid crisis

by cedleonard on November 1, 2017 - 10:54pm

On October 26th, the Trump administration has declared the opioid crisis to be a national public health emergency under the federal Public Health Service Act in order to combat the “worldwide problem” with deep-reaching negative effects of drug abuse. In a speech delivered, he decries how the United States has lost “at least 64 000 Americans to overdoses, that’s 175 lost american lives per day, that’s 7 lost lives per hour” in 2016. Drug overdose is the leading cause of unintentional deaths in the United States, and he highlights how “more people are dying from drug overdoses today than from gun homicides and motor vehicles combined.” These overdoses are “driven by a massive increase in addiction to prescription painkillers, heroin and other opioids [and ] more than 11 million [Americans] abused prescription opioids.” He also quotes the quadrupling of opioid overdose deaths since 1999, which are now accounting for the majority of fatal overdoses. “No part of our society, not young or old, rich or poor, urban or rural, has been spared this plague, and this horrible, horrible situation that’s taking place with opioids.” His administration will notably roll out a new policy that overrides a 1970 rule that restricted certain treatment facilities’ ability to provide care from drug addiction. Opioid prescribers will be required to undergo more special training to help prevent abuse and addiction, and the administration will also require an unnamed opioid to be removed from the market “immediately.” Some critics argue he didn’t go far enough, seeing as he didn’t actuate his intentions far enough, seeing as he described the issue as a national emergency and intended in August to treat it as such, whereas a public health emergency holds less power to unlock funds and bypass certain restrictive regulations than a national emergency under the Stafford Act.


We can touch worldviews with this issue. The president might seem not as decisive, which is somewhat a letdown to some people, who may feel that he makes fancy speeches without completely enabling the steps for some of the issues to be actually solved. It’s a possible lens on the worldview space, and certainly it would help more to deploy more resources still, but so far that second possibility is not excluded yet. As expected, it will take decades to fix the opioid crisis and heal significantly the communities that suffer from its implications. The “it’s a start” argument is not useful alone, but I’m personally led to believe that this isn’t going to be the end of it, so I’m much in favour of this policy of the United States because any drug abuse has large and wide negative implications, and I don’t wish these problems on anyone because the various manifestations of misery are something that spreads to peers by the driving force of our human empathy and interpersonal relationship investments. The efforts from many facets of society, such as the medical sectors, lawmaking and law enforcing, media will, I hope, and I believe, lessen this problem, as any other problem which we set out to solve. How much of these problems might we solve through early awareness-raising, responsibility, and support? It's unfortunate that we must remember that it’s not always easy to have these combat the more real mechanisms like the social advantage of being “cool” by using drugs with the lower decision-making quality of not-fully-developed teenage brains and delicate need for social acceptance at these young ages, followed, if drugs are taken enough, by the bodily obsessing and physiological destabilization that is addiction, which effectively erases most if not all of the aspects fighting against drug abuse.