Trump officially declares opioid epidemic an emergency

U.S. President Donald Trump has officially declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency, garnering praise from the ADA.

The declaration came more than two months after the president first called the epidemic an emergency. In his official declaration, President Trump said that confronting the epidemic will take substantial effort.

"This crisis of drug use, addiction, and overdose deaths ... it's just been so long in the making," the president said before signing the official declaration. "Addressing it will require all of our effort, and it will require us to confront the crisis in all of its very real complexity."

While President Trump declared the epidemic a public health emergency, he stopped short of declaring it a national emergency, which would have given states access to the federal Disaster Relief Fund. The White House has said that it will work with Congress to find additional funding for the epidemic.

ADA response

The ADA commended President Trump on the declaration, saying it hopes his latest statement will spur public health agencies to prioritize solutions to the epidemic.

"The president's official declaration will encourage the Department of Health and Human Services to bolster education efforts aimed at healthcare providers and students at dental and medical schools," the ADA said in a statement to

Earlier in October, the ADA also urged two congressional panels to take several actions to make sure the federal response to the opioid crisis was more relevant to dentists.

"One concerns the nuances of managing short-term acute pain versus long-term chronic pain," the ADA said. "The other is to avoid duplicating or undermining what states have been doing on this issue for years."

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