Here is what Trump's opioid declaration means for health IT

Francis Osborne
October 29, 2017

Encouraging pharmaceutical companies to develop painkillers that aren't addictive.

Shifting existing money in programs used to fight HIV/AIDS to provide more substance abuse treatment to people with that disease.

Eric Haram, former behavioral health director of the Addiction Resource Center at Midcoast Hospital in Brunswick and now a treatment consultant in ME and other states, said the president's remarks Wednesday were light on specifics.

"The governor was there to highlight the initiatives the LePage administration has undertaken to address the opioid crisis in Maine", Peter Steele, LePage's communications director, said in an email.

The disappointment about Trump's announcement is more bitter in Ross County given that more than 60 percent of the county voted for the Republican at last year's presidential election against Democrat Hillary Clinton. On Thursday, the senator applauded the president's declaration, but said he hopes it's just the first step.

"The fact is, if we can teach young people - and people, generally - not to start, it's really, really easy not to take them". Afterward, he promised several times to declare opioid abuse a "national emergency".

"I learned because of Fred; I learned", Trump said. A study from October 2016 by Curtis Florence, PhD, and the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control estimated the cost of combating the opioid crisis at $78.5 billion. White House officials said the public health route was more appropriate because the other option was designed for natural disasters like hurricanes.

But Trump also laid out ways in which his administration would be attempting to combat the opioid epidemic.

Using Marijuana Regularly Could Mean More Frequent Sex, Study Suggests
The study focused on heterosexual sex and did not explain why there might be a connection between sex and marijuana, CNN reported. Study finds frequent marijuana use doesn't impair sexual motivation or performance but rather increases coital frequency.

A Trump-named commission headed by Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey is expected to release a report on an overall strategy for combating the opioid crisis on November 1. Vermont for years now has had the second-highest per-capita rate of all states for treatment admissions for prescription opioids; only Maine's is higher.

Massachusetts Democratic Attorney General Maura Healey said Trump's action was "woefully inadequate to address the challenges we face".

Marsh said, "We do need ongoing help from the federal government".

Trump said he would discuss stopping the flow of fentanyl, a drug 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine, with Chinese President Xi Jinping during his visit to Asia next month.

But the order doesn't mean immediate federal funding.

"We want them to get help that they need", said President Trump.

By law, federal Medicaid dollars can not go to facilities that treat mental illness or substance use disorders if they have more than 16 beds, a policy that dates to a time when federal officials did not want to be in the practice of reimbursing state psychiatric hospitals.

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), representing almost 3,000 local health departments, also expressed disappointment that Trump did not go further and call the crisis a national emergency.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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