LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) – Advocates and doctors in opioid-ravaged Kentucky urged President Donald Trump’s acting chief health official to spend more money on fighting the drug epidemic one day after he signed an order declaring the crisis a national public health emergency.
Acting Health and Human Services Secretary Eric Hargan toured a clinic in Lexington, Kentucky, on Friday that specializes in treating pregnant women and their babies addicted to opioid-based drugs like heroin and prescription painkillers.
Kentucky has one of the highest rates of babies born addicted to opioids, with 110 cases reported each month in 2015.
Although Congress authorized spending of more than $1 billion on drug treatment programs nationwide last year, the Trump administration’s public health declaration does not include more spending. Instead, it lets the government redirect resources to help out rural areas.