Skip to Main Content

Opioid Crisis

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that drug overdose deaths and opioid-involved deaths continue to increase in the United States. The majority of drug overdose deaths (more than six out of ten) involve an opioid.  Since 1999, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids (including prescription opioids and heroin) have quadrupled.  From 2000 to 2015 more than half a million people died from drug overdoses, and the CDC further indicates that “ 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.”

On Thursday October 26, 2017 President Trump officially declared the opioid crisis a “public health emergency.”  President Trump said from the White House that “This epidemic is a national health emergency.”

Trump laid out details of how his administration plans to combat the growing crisis – including promoting a massive anti-drug ad campaign – and instructed the Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary to declare the epidemic a public health emergency.

As a result of the consequences of the opioid crisis affecting our Nation, on October 26, 2017, and after consultation with public health officials as necessary, Eric D. Hargan, Acting Secretary of Health and Human Services, pursuant to the authority under section 319 of the Public Health Service Act, determined that a public health emergency exists nationwide.  The Public Health Emergency Declaration was renewed on January 24, 2018 for an additional 90 days by Acting Secretary Hargan.