In rural America, response times for police, fire or EMS can be long ones. When a loved one has overdosed on opioids, the wait can feel like an eternity.

Hundreds die every day across the nation from opioid abuse. Those in Washington see prevention, treatment and overdose response as three goals for the nation. 

John Torpy (torpy@iptv.org) has the details.  

The opioid abuse epidemic gripping the country had President Trump’s full attention this week, as he took time out of his vacation to meet with the group tasked with solving the problem.

President Donald Trump: “Nobody is safe from this epidemic that threatens young and old, rich and poor, urban and rural communities.  Everybody is threatened.” 

 

According to the president’s Opioid and Drug Abuse Commission, the problem claims 30,000 people annually. Late in the week, he honored a request by the commission and verbally declared the problem a national emergency. The president plans to draw up documents formalizing the pronouncement in the near future.

President Donald Trump: ”Strong law enforcement is absolutely vital to having a drug-free society. I have had the opportunity to hear from many on the front lines of the opioid epidemic, and I'm confident that by working with our healthcare and law enforcement experts, we will fight this deadly epidemic and the United States will win.”

After the commission met with the president, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price laid out the next steps.

Secretary Tom Price, Health and Human Services: “The President is absolutely committed to solving that problem and we are going to turn over every single rock and make certain we are identifying every single thing that could move us in a better direction.”

For Market to Market, I’m John Torpy.