Opioids are a diverse class of moderatelystrong painkillers which with their potency and availability have made thempopular, both as formal medical treatments and as recreational drugs. Theopioid crisis is the rapidly increasing use of these drugs in the United Statesbeginning somewhere in the late 1990s. On October 26, 2017, President Trump, vowingto alleviate issue of drug addiction and abuse, demanded the Department ofHealth as well as Human Services to declare the opioid crisis a public health emergencyvowing to alleviate issue of drug addiction and abuse. However, President Trumpfell short of fulfilling his promise to declare the opioid crisis “a nationalemergency”. Having declared it a national emergency would have prompted therapid distribution of federal funding to address the issue.
Opioids have claimed the lives of more than59,000 lives in 2016, more than guns or car accidents and doing so even fasterthan the H.I.V epidemic. The overuse of these drugs can cause a series of healthcomplications along with the possibility of death. During a ceremony in theEast Room of the White House, President Trump stated “No part of our societynot young or old, rich or poor, urban or rural has been spared this plague ofdrug addiction and this horrible, horrible situation that’s taken place withopioids.
” Declaring the opioid crisis anational emergency could potentially save thousands of lives. Recently, eventoddlers and young children have been found unconscious or dead after consumingadult’s drugs.As previously stated,declaring the opioid crisis as a national emergency could potentially save manylives in the years to come. Every day more babies are unfortunately bornaddicted to opioids because of the mothers use of the drugs during pregnancy.Children with addicted parents are sent to foster homes and drug abusers aresent to already overflowing jails. If this crisis is not dealt with soon theopioid crisis will claim the lives of thousands more in the years to come.
If thepresident were to declare this epidemic a national emergency Congress could beable to fund and create programs to prevent and fight the opioid crisis that iscurrently devastating America. It would also heighten the people’s awareness ofthe severity of the opioid crisis.As the number of opioid related deaths continue toincrease it is clear that something must be done to address this issue. Beatingthis crisis will require more than just changes to the health care policy. Itwill require educating people all across the country on the serious dangers ofabusing drugs and monitoring prescriptions.
Also, incarcerating those who usedrugs will in no way help their addiction as most users do not receive theproper treatment they need when they are behind bars. If we wish to be rid ofthis epidemic, a step in the right direction would be for users to be given theproper treatment needed in order to end the cycle of addiction.