U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) released the following statement this week on the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis report, concluding that the President should declare a state of emergency because of the opioid epidemic.
“When I’m on the ground in my home state of West Virginia and when I hear the stories of those struggling with opioid addiction it’s obvious our country is in crisis,” Manchin said. “Declaring a national emergency will allow the Administration and Congress to act with the immediacy that’s needed to end this epidemic. This report outlines key provisions that I have been fighting to institute for years. We need to require prescriber education, expand substance abuse treatment through Medicaid, strengthen interstate data sharing between Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs), federal healthcare systems and the VA to better share opioid prescribing data, and we must enforce mental healthcare provisions that require insurance companies to treat mental health issues the same as physical health issues. This report also includes provisions like that included in Jessie’s Law to ensure that substance abuse treatment records are more easily shared among medical professionals. We must take these commonsense and meaningful steps in order to start reversing the opioid epidemic.”