World

Trump to declare emergency over opioid crisis

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he would declare next week a national emergency on opioid abuse, a move that could give states access to federal funds to fight the drug crisis.

The US is battling a surge in opioid-related deaths, including 33,000 in 2015, more than any year on record, according to federal data.

"The opioid is a tremendous emergency," Mr Trump told Fox Business Network on Wednesday. "Next week, I am going to (be) declaring an emergency, (a) national emergency on drugs."

He said in August that he would declare opioid abuse a national emergency.

Opioids, primarily prescription painkillers, heroin and fentanyl - a drug 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine - are fuelling the drug overdoses.

The declaration could help unlock more support and resources to address the drug overdose epidemic, and it gives the US government more flexibility in waiving rules and restrictions to expedite action. - REUTERS

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