Trump declares national emergency on opioid abuse

Updated: 06:06 GMT, Aug 11, 2017 | Published: 06:05 GMT, Aug 11, 2017 |

President Donald Trump on Thursday (August 10) declared the opioid epidemic a national emergency and said his administration was drafting papers to make it official.

Trump spoke about a week after a White House commission on the opioid crisis led by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie recommended the president declare it a national emergency.

The declaration could help unlock more support and resources to address the drug overdose epidemic, such as additional funding and expanded access to various forms of treatment, and it gives the government more flexibility in waiving rules and restrictions to expedite action.

National emergencies are typically declared for short-term crises, such as the Zika virus outbreak or a natural disaster. It is unclear what Trump’s declaration will mean for a complex, long-term public health problem.