Trump declares opioid crisis public health emergency, Harrisburg experts talk addiction fight

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) Pennsylvania is ranked among the top ten states when it comes to opioid overdose deaths. Many are hopeful that help may be on the way thanks to the president’s emergency order.

During a speech Thursday, President Trump declared the opioid crisis a nationwide public health emergency. He called for an aggressive advertising campaign targeting children and young adults. The message is to never try drugs in the first place.

For now no additional federal dollars will be available to help fight the addiction crisis but federal agencies will allocate more grant money.

Hamilton Health Center in Harrisburg uses grant money to fund its addiction outreach program Center of Excellence.

According to the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, Pennsylvania has the fourth highest death rate from heroin overdoses in the nation. Pennsylvania ranks seventh nationally in opioid related deaths.

Center of Excellence is working with addicts one at a time, one day at a time in four counties

“We are trying to bring them back to themselves showing them that there is hope that they don’t have to continue living like that,” said Santosha Perez of Center of Excellence.

The president’s order will last 90 days. He can continue to renew it until he thinks its no longer needed.

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