In recent news, the 45th President of the United States has declared the Opioid Crisis a “national state of emergency”. But many have been left wondering what does this mean for the epidemic?
“The opioid crisis is an emergency, and I am saying, officially, right now, it is an emergency. It’s a national emergency,” Trump said on Thursday. “We’re going to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money on the opioid crisis. It is a serious problem the likes of which we have never had.”
A “state of emergency” explained…
For those of us that don’t work in the federal government, a.k.a a majority of the population, it can be difficult to see what a “state of emergency” means and what it does for the cause that called for it. By definition, a state of emergency is “a situation of national danger or disaster in which a government suspends normal constitutional procedures in order to regain control”. Basically, a government may declare when their area is in a state of emergency for civil unrest, human-made disaster, a declaration of war, or international/domestic armed conflict. This basically frees up disaster funding for the cause and puts all eyes on it from every branch in the government.
The good and bad about it…
While Trump’s dedication to the Opioid Crisis is admirable and considering he made it his first state of emergency declaration in office, we do commend him for taking a stand against the epidemic killing over 100 people every day in America. Unfortunately, it has been added to 28 other active state of emergency issues dating back to President Jimmy Carter’s White House run in the early 1980s. In fact, the National Emergencies Act of 1974 was first used during the Iranian Hostage Crisis by President Carter and still remains active today. Every President since Carter has in fact called at least 4 state of emergency addresses to various issues while their turn in office. Most recently, past Presidents George W. Busch and Obama had a staggering 13 and 12 each during their terms as the leaders of the United States.
So how are state of emergency declarations still active from over 30 years ago? For a state of emergency to remain active it must be revoted on every year, and this has lead to the number of active states of emergency to reach 29 in 2017 with Trump’s first making the list.
So what’s the verdict?
The only problem with the Opioid Epidemic being addressed as a state of emergency is that it may lead to this important issue affecting our society today being buried beneath many other important issues. American Drug Testing will follow this story as it develops.