Rep. Austin Scott Applauds President Trump’s Action to Combat Drug Addiction, Opioid Crisis
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Austin Scott (GA-08) applauded President Trump’s action to combat drug addiction and the opioid crisis. Rep. Scott was at the White House this afternoon when the President declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency. After the announcement, Rep. Scott released the following statement:
“Over the last decade, hundreds of thousands of Americans have died from overdoses involving opioids, including in Georgia where we have seen families and lives ripped apart from the crisis of opioid use and drug addiction,” said Rep. Scott. “I applaud President Trump’s action today declaring the opioid crisis a public health emergency, deploying tools and resources to combat this epidemic and provide real relief for millions of Americans.”
In 2016, more than two million Americans had an addiction to prescription or illicit opioids. Drug overdoses are now a leading cause of death in the United States, outnumbering both traffic crashes and gun-related deaths.
President Trump’s announcement today provides for the following, among other things:
- Allows for expanded access to telemedicine services, including services involving remote prescribing of medicine commonly used for substance abuse or mental health treatment;
- Helps overcome bureaucratic delays and inefficiencies in the hiring process, by allowing the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to more quickly make temporary appointments of specialists with the tools and talent needed to respond effectively to our Nation’s ongoing public health emergency;
- Allows the Department of Labor (DOL) to issue dislocated worker grants to help workers who have been displaced from the workforce because of the opioid crisis, subject to available funding; and
- Allows for shifting of resources within HIV/AIDS programs to help people eligible for those programs receive substance abuse treatment, which is important given the connection between HIV transmission and substance abuse.