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The time is now. The White House stated on August 10th, at the recommendation of the President's Commission on the Opioid Crisis, that it would declare a national state of emergency. Two months have passed and the official paperwork has not yet been signed. Meanwhile, during the 60 days that have passed, another 8,640 people have died due to an accidental drug overdose.
Previous national emergencies have involved far less deaths. H1N1, or swine flu, which was declared a national emergency in 2009, was responsible for killing 1,000 people in a year. In contrast, 1,000 people are dying every WEEK due to an accidental drug overdose, in large part due to the opioid epidemic.
Join us in urging the White House to make the declaration official. Please fill out the below information to send a letter to the White House, your representatives and the Acting Secretary of Health and Human Services. Doing so will free up additional disaster relief funds that can be accessed at the state level and can provide temporary waivers for Medicaid coverage for drug treatment.
Declare a National State of Emergency
Dear [Decision Maker],
The current opioid crisis calls for a coordinated national response. Drug overdoses are the largest cause of accidental death in this country, now killing 144 people per day. That's 52,560 people per year. In contrast, in 2009 a national state of emergency was declared for the H1N1 virus (swine flu), which killed 1,000 people per year.
Declaring a national state of emergency would release necessary additional funding for opioid prevention and treatment and states badly hit by the opioid epidemic would be eligible for federal disaster relief funding. It would additionally provide temporary waivers for Medicaid to reimburse drug treatment in large residential facilities (larger than 16 beds), so more people can access this critical care.
There is no time to waste. We need additional resources now to prevent future deaths by providing greater access to life-saving naloxone and treatment. Please officially declare a national state of emergency for the opioid crisis.