President Trump declares a public health emergency to combat opi - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

President Trump declares a public health emergency to combat opioid crisis

President Donald Trump (Source: John Wise) President Donald Trump (Source: John Wise)

The country's opioid crisis has reached epidemic proportions. 

During his campaign, President Donald Trump had pledged to make fighting addiction a top priority at rallies in some of the hardest-hit states in the nation.

President Trump declared a nationwide public health emergency, but it won't bring new dollars to the fight.

Advocates anticipated Trump would issue a national emergency on the opioid crisis, which would have ushered in fresh funding to combat the epidemic.

White House officials said the plan would expand access to medical services in rural areas and shift some federal HIV money to help addicts, among other changes.

Opioids' toll on Ohio

According to an Ohio State University study, "Taking Measure of Ohio's Opioid Crisis," an annual total cost of opioid addiction, abuse, and overdose deaths ranges from $6.6 billion to $8.8 billion statewide. To put this into perspective, Ohio spent $8.2 billion of general revenue funds and lottery profits money on K-12 public education in 2015.

The study estimates that in a best-case scenario, Ohio likely only has the capacity to treat 20 to 40 percent of the population abusing or dependent upon opioids

In 2015, the drug overdose rate for those in Ohio with just a high school degree was 14 times higher than those with a college degree.

MORE: Officials say Trump's opioid emergency won't mean new money

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