President Donald Trump signed bipartisan legislation addressing the opioid crisis into law Wednesday. The bill contains federal funding expected to provide treatment and services in Clark County.
The bill focuses on preventing addiction through improved access to treatment centers and eliminating some coverage restrictions for patients on Medicare or Medicaid.
Nationwide, nearly 48,000 people overdosed from opioid use last year. In Clark County 39 people died as a result of opioid overdose, and 732 deaths occurred statewide.
“Together, we are going to end the scourge of drug addiction in America,” Trump said at an event celebrating the bill’s signing. “We are going to end it or we are going to at least make an extremely big dent in this terrible, terrible problem.”
Trump declared the epidemic an emergency last October. A report from the Government Accountability Office, released this week, evaluated the results of Trump’s emergency declaration at the request of Democrats, including Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. The report found the White House fell short on its promises. In the last year, only three new authorities were granted as a result of the emergency, which included giving two states permission to progress faster with programming and providing support for proposed research initiatives.