The President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis in the U.S., which began working on March 29, studying how to respond to the recent surge in fatal drug overdoses, formally urged Donald Trump to declare a federal state of emergency to deal with the opioid epidemic.
"Our citizens are dying. We must act boldly to stop it," the commission said. The draft report calls for Trump to use either the Public Health Service Act or the Stafford Act to declare a state of emergency and “use every tool at our disposal to prevent any further American deaths.” The report calls for Trump to “quickly eliminate barriers to treatment resulting from the federal Institutes for Mental Diseases DRAFT 3 (IMD) exclusion within the Medicaid program.” Drugs such as Suboxone, Subutex, and methadone have proven to be the most effective type of treatment for people are recovering from addiction, but access to these forms of MAT are still limited, the commission observed.
The report also urges all states to adopt “Good Samaritan” laws that encourage people to report overdoses by giving people who call 911 immunity from criminal prosecution. Most of the synthetic opioids are manufactured in China, and the report calls for making a crackdown on these drugs “a top tier diplomatic issue” in discussions with Beijing. The commission has received more than 8,000 public comments. The lead of Commission, Gov. Christie, compared the opioid deaths to 9/11.