PHI Statement on Call for Opioid State of Emergency
STATEMENT FROM CARMEN NEVAREZ, MD, MPH, VICE PRESIDENT FOR EXTERNAL RELATIONS AND PREVENTIVE MEDICINE ADVISOR
“PHI welcomes the call from the federal Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis to declare a state of emergency to combat the nation’s opioid emergency. The epidemic is killing 142 people a day, and needs an urgent, bipartisan and multi-sector public health response to solve it.
“Congress must continue to protect Medicaid and affordable, accessible healthcare for all Americans, including behavioral health care. Additionally, we must protect and deepen public health resources in the federal budget, to ensure that states, local governments and community organizations have the resources and capacity to tailor solutions to address this crisis in the communities where they live. This includes access to medication-assisted treatments to combat opioid dependency and ready access to naloxone to prevent overdose deaths. Finally, we should prioritize a public health approach over a criminal justice response to all substance abuse issues, not just opioids.
“From assessing what works on the local level, to bringing stakeholders together in Appalachia to address the crisis there, the Public Health Institute commits to deepening our work to address opioid use.”