U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly Tuesday released the following statement after the Trump Administration moved late last week to extend the opioid public health emergency declaration, which was set to expire today. Donnelly and a group of Senators had called on the president to extend the designation given how devastating the opioid abuse crisis continues to be.
Donnelly said, “I’m glad that the Administration will extend the ‘emergency’ declaration, but this designation will only be meaningful if it also includes more resources to address the crisis. I am hopeful that the Administration will work with me and my colleagues in the Senate on a more robust federal response. It will take all of us working together, with more resources for prevention, treatment, and recovery programs, if we are to effectively combat this devastating epidemic.”
Donnelly has several times in recent months called for more resources to combat the opioid epidemic. Last week, Donnelly spoke on the Senate floor in strong opposition to cuts to the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), following news reports the Administration plans to slash it by 95 percent. ONDCP coordinates federal efforts to combat opioid abuse and heroin use, and also administers the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program, which supports and enhances cooperation between federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to combat drug trafficking.