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Words Need to be Accompanied by Actions

Statement on Declaration of Emergency on Opioid Crisis

In response to President Donald Trump’s statement today that he plans to make a formal declaration of emergency on the opioid crisis, Harm Reduction Coalition’s Deputy Director of Planning and Policy, Daniel Raymond, issued the following statement:

“Words need to be accompanied by actions. After 200 days into the Trump Administration, we have yet to see a clear and consistent strategy emerge. Any meaningful emergency declaration must start from the following core principles:

  1. Reverse course on efforts to cut or dismantle Medicaid and take Medicaid changes off the table in Affordable Care Act repeal discussions;
  2. Reject ‘tough on crime’ posturing in favor of affirming the centrality of public health solutions – we cannot arrest or punish our way out of this epidemic;
  3. Adopt a full-spectrum approach that incorporates critical harm reduction and recovery strategies while tackling stigma and exclusionary policies;
  4. Recognize that the opioid crisis — and its solutions — begin right here at home, and abandon inflammatory, racialized rhetoric that makes false promises about ending the crisis through border security;
  5. Commit to a substantial multi-year investment in resources to protect health, reduce harm, and support recovery in our communities, and insulate critical federal housing, public health, and community development programs from budget cuts.”

Harm Reduction Coalition is prepared to work with this Administration and Congress in developing a common framework through these core principles to respond to this national emergency and reverse the overdose crisis.

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