What President Trump’s Opioid Public Health Emergency Means

President Trump

What President Trump’s Opioid Public Health Emergency Means

Yesterday, President Donald Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency. We all know that opioid addiction is a major problem in America, but many people are confused as to what it means to be a public health emergency. What exactly does it change, and what measures are being put in place to end this epidemic?

With this opioid public health emergency, changes can come. While not a lot of information was given to how the government plans on tackling this issue, it’s a positive thing to see the government finally acknowledging this epidemic, and hopefully, it will have a positive effect on this addiction crisis that’s affecting millions of people in America. Today we will be going over what changes we may see from this public health emergency.


Admittance Is The First Step

First thing’s first – the government and President Trump formally addressing the opioid crisis as a public health emergency is a positive thing. In the past, we’ve heard talk about the issue from government officials, but it was never formally addressed as a public health emergency when most of us knew it had been for some time. By the government formally addressing this as a public health emergency, however, it will now bring this issue to the attention of people who may not realize how bad it is.

They say there is no such thing as bad press, and this is a prime example. While the opioid crisis being referred to as a public health emergency is far from good news, it can at least now be brought to the attention of the general public.


Hands of man holding pill bottle with pills on hand

The Institution of Mental Diseases

One proposal that President Trump had made during his announcement is relaxing the Institutions of Mental Diseases exclusion for inpatient substance use disorder treatment. What does this mean? As of now, the exclusion bars Medicaid payment from services delivered in certain facilities with 16 or more beds will be relaxed. This means that many people suffering from substance abuse issues aren’t getting the help they need – and we may now be seeing this get changed.



Lastly, and arguably most importantly, is that with this public health emergency we may see a change in the ease of obtaining prescription opioids. The fact is, prescription opioids are easy to obtain and are often the cause of substance abuse issues. After a while of taking strong pain medications, your body can go through withdrawal when you stop. This can lead to a long and dark road of substance abuse problems and even lead to harder illicit drugs.

With this public health emergency, doctors will likely be encouraged to prescribe less addictive drugs to their patients, unless absolutely necessary. This will in-turn lower the likelihood of addiction and help bring opiate overdoses down.


With the opioid crisis being labeled a public health emergency by President Trump, many changes can be made. While substance abuse will likely never be fully eradicated in our lifetime, measures can be made to drastically reduce it. If you or someone you know is suffering from substance abuse issues, contact Holy Cross Counselling today.

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