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President Trump declares national opioid emergency

Trump opioid.jpg
(Courtesy: CNN Newsource)

Some people affected by opiate addiction are cherishing a symbolic victory after President Trump declared a national opioid emergency.

"The opioid crisis is an emergency, and I'm saying officially, right now, it is an emergency. It's a national emergency," Trump said. "We're going to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money on the opioid crisis."

While that announcement is being widely praised, those affected by addiction want to see what comes next.

"While declaring it an epidemic is a good thing, we need a system-wide approach," said Deborah Cochran who has a daughter in recovery. "I don't think I know anybody that doesn't know several other people that have had addiction touch them in some way."

Declaring a national emergency will make more money available for states and local communities to fight the epidemic. That money could be used for treatment programs and other ways to help addicts recover. Cochran said addiction is a family problem so children's services and proper health care are also needed.

"You need to back up that with the actual grit of it in terms of money to treatment, money to courts, money to after care," she said. "(Beating the heroin epidemic) is possible but we need the resources so that we can ensure that they're recovering."

This week Franklin County hired someone full-time to battle the epidemic. That person will be in charge of following through with the county's opiate action plan. Declaring a national emergency could provide more money for programs like that.

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