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GOP State Senator: declare opioid crisis a national emergency

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Posted at 9:29 AM, Aug 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-10 09:29:18-04

A Republican New York State Senator is denouncing President Trump's decision to not declare the country's heroin and opioid epidemic a national emergency.

State Senator Chris Jacobs says the President is going against his own specially-created commission, which recommended he give "national emergency" status to the crisis because it would Americans understand the severity of the situation and would open access to financial and phyiscal assistance.

"Currently 142 Americans are dying every day due to overdoses and two-thirds of those are due to heroin/opioids," said Jacobs.  "That number of deaths is equivalent to a September 11th tragedy every three weeks. If this is not a national crisis, I don't what is."

Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price told reporters Wednesday the President is not declaring the opioid crisis a national emergency because he believes it isn't necessary at this point.

Instead, President Trump is calling for a stronger law enforcement response to the opioid crisis and a focus on abstinance-based programs that work to prevent people from trying the drugs to begin with.