Trump Declares Opioid Crisis A Public Health Emergency

US President Donald Trump has declared the country's opioid crisis a "public health emergency", but stopped short of issuing an order that would allocate more federal funds to address the epidemic.

Opioids are a type of drugs that include illegal substances, such as heroin, and legal painkillers - medications such as oxycodone, codeine and morphine are all types of opioids.

"Effective today, my administration is officially declaring the opioid crisis a national public health emergency under federal law," Trump said during a speech addressing the issue on Thursday.

"I am directing all executive agencies to use every appropriate emergency authority to fight the opioid crisis," he said.

"We can be the generation that ends the opioid epidemic."

According to the latest figures from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), deaths from opioid overdoses - either prescription or illegal - have quadrupled in the US since 1999.

The CDC recorded 33,091 deaths in 2015.

Since 2000, more than 200,000 Americans have died from overdoses of prescriptionopioids.

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