Statement by Research!America president and CEO Mary Woolley on the White House declaration that the Opioid Crisis is a Public Health Emergency
Today, President Trump declared the opioid epidemic a national public health emergency. This declaration will help expand access to treatment for patients in rural communities and give states flexibility in using federal grant funds to target those with opioid addictions. This is a positive step, but it doesn’t measure up to the level of commitment needed to combat a scourge that has taken a heavy toll on Americans across the country. Without additional funding to defeat this health threat, addiction in America will not turn the corner. The epidemic is deeply rooted in many communities as opioid-related deaths continue to rise and treatment facilities fill to capacity. A majority of Americans (59%) support increased federal funding for research to better understand and combat opioid addiction. Unfortunately, the president's declaration doesn’t include funding for the research needed to adequately treat and prevent this complex and deadly health crisis, and for other priorities. We urge the Administration and all elected officials to take this declaration a step further by providing more resources, including to federal health agencies working with providers, research institutions and the private sector, to accelerate the pace of research.