President Donald Trump announced his administration would declare the opioid crisis a public health emergency Thursday, which the White House says is killing 175 people every day.
Following Trump’s announcement, Alabama U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, Chairman of the Senate Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee, voiced his support for the president’s declaration.
“I applaud the President and his Administration on their efforts to end the opioid epidemic. This is a real emergency, and it affects just about every community in our country,” said Shelby. “Senator Jeanne Shaheen and I have been working on our Appropriations Subcommittee to make sure that both law enforcement and the Justice Department have the tools they need to fight this epidemic. It is going to take a massive effort, and I fully support President Trump’s attention to this matter.”
The growing epidemic regarding the misuse, abuse, and addiction to certain prescription pain medications and other types of opioids in the United States, such as heroin, remains a concern for communities across the country. The prescription of opioid painkillers has been the driving force behind increased opioid usage and subsequent overdose related deaths.
In the FY2017 CJS Appropriations bill, Shelby secured $276.5 million to the Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Prisons, and Department of Justice grants to combat the nation’s drug addiction and opioid crisis.