George's son Zach Ziehm died from an overdose last year, after three years and four months of sobriety.
CORNISH: So what would a declaration actually mean?
Tom Price, Trump's secretary of Health and Human Services, did not address Trump's comments about the origins of addiction but told reporters after the meeting that the Trump administration is focused on dealing with how prescriptions are written. The Trump Administration and Congress should prioritize scaling up access to the overdose-reversal drug naloxone and medication-assisted treatment, like methadone and buprenorphine, and resist efforts to expand the use of mandatory minimum sentences and criminalization.
Trump also used language that sounded like a vintage sound reel from the 1980s: "If they don't start, they won't have a problem".
"If that leads to some of the other things that were in the initial report being undertaken, that would be fantastic, if that allows us to speed some of these things up", said Brenda Heidinger, associate director of the Mahoning County Mental Health & Recovery Board, referring to the drug commission's report.
"President Trump's bipartisan opioid commission makes clear that this crisis demands a health-based response", said Smith. "When you get into the details only one in 10 people who suffer from addiction in this country, ever, receive any form of treatment". Trump answered, "We're going to draw it up, and we're going to make it a national emergency".
The President said urgent action was needed as he pledged more government resources to help solve the crisis at a press conference at his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey. "We really do need creative solutions", she said.
"The president certainly believes that we will treat it as an emergency-and it is an emergency", Price said.
Palm Beach County has been especially hard hit by the opioid epidemic, driven in part by addicts from the Northeast and Midwest moving here for treatment. Bob Casey, D-Pa., calling for more money to aid states with addiction treatment and prevent, as well as an end to proposals that would cut funding from Medicaid. Half a million people have died in the last 15 years, and the number of opioid-related deaths has quadrupled since 1999. But a new University of Virginia study released on Monday concluded the mortality rates were 24 percent higher for opioids and 22 percent higher for heroin than had been previously reported.
Trump has long insisted that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, even if the ounce of prevention takes the form of an enormous, expensive wall along the border between Mexico and the United States. That change has been one of the most controversial aspects of Christie's reforms.
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