Statement: Trump National Public Health Emergency Declaration On The Opioid Crisis

October 26, 2017
“Missouri’s hospitals applaud President Trump’s declaration of a public health emergency for the opioid crisis. The focus the declaration will bring is essential to solving a nationwide crisis. However, additional resources will be necessary.

Hospitals are on the frontline of the crisis. Missourians with an opioid addiction often seek medication in hospital emergency departments, while care for opioid overdoses occurs far too often in the same venue.

Hospitals and other providers have worked collaboratively to address the issue of access to these powerful drugs. However, the state remains the only holdout nationally in establishment of a traditional prescription drug monitoring program. This hampers providers’ ability to address the crisis at the point of care and allows in-migration of individuals with opioid seeking behavior.

Our research on the opioid crisis in Missouri has demonstrated the high toll misuse, abuse and addiction have taken on residents of the state. The crisis has led to challenges in the workforce and increases in neonatal abstinence syndrome. In addition, researchers have linked opioid abuse with a decrease in life expectancy a for certain segment of the population.

The opioid emergency is one of the most important public health challenges facing the nation. This announcement is great news for Missourians and the hospitals and other providers who deliver care.”

Herb B. Kuhn
President and CEO
Missouri Hospital Association