Commission wants national public health emergency for opioid epidemic

Commission wants national public health emergency for opioid epidemic

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - New statistics show drug overdoses kill more people in the United States than gun violence and car crashed combined.

The Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis sent President Donald Trump a 10-page proposal urging him that the nation needs a National Public Health Emergency regarding the opioid epidemic across the country.

A local rehabilitation facility says they are not surprised the commission took such a strong stance on the opioid epidemic.

Matthew Rizzo, president and CEO of A Renewed Mind, says he was impressed with the draft because of three reasons.

First, he says it showed Washington is taking a hard look at the staggering numbers in the US.

"Number two they included multiple parties," Rizzo said. "So it's law enforcement, it's treatment providers, it's prevention. And so there are different folks sitting at the table, not just one soloed approach. Thirdly there were some very practical things that we can do quickly to address the opioid epidemic."

The commission proposed gr anting waiver approvals for all 50 states to quickly eliminate barriers to treatment within the Medicaid program and equipping all law enforcement in the US with naloxone to save lives.

Rizzo says one of the things he liked most about the proposal is that the commission acknowledged the mental health illnesses that also need to be addressed when helping someone battling addiction.

He says he is looking forward to seeing the second draft.

Follow WTOL:  

Download our app here

Copyright 2017 WTOL. All rights reserved.