Press Room

ASTHO Statement on President Trump's Plan to End the Opioid Epidemic and Address America's "Crisis Next Door"

ARLINGTON, VA (March 19, 2018)—Michael Fraser, executive director of ASTHO, issued the following statement on President Trump’s Initiative to Stop Opioid Abuse and Reduce Drug Supply and Demand.

“The president’s plan demonstrates important leadership for this critical public health issue and contains vital measures states and territories can take to address the opioid misuse and addiction epidemic that is plaguing our nation. We believe the President is serious about implementing the recommendations of his commission, many of which will strengthen the capacity of state health agencies to address the problem. These include increasing availability of overdose reversal medications, improving linkages between state prescription drug monitoring programs, and assuring that federal health programs expand evidence-based treatment and recovery services. The focus on expanding access to medication assisted treatment will greatly assist state and territorial health departments in their efforts to get more Americans evidence-based treatment and access recovery services.

We look forward to continued conversations with the Administration and Congress about how to further efforts to provide evidence-based public health approaches to preventing opioid misuse and addiction, including the proposed media campaign and other public health messaging to prevent drug use. It is our hope the Administration will continue to emphasize the critical role state, territorial, and local public health departments play in addressing this issue. As the President noted in his speech today, preventing individuals from using opioids or other illicit substances in the first place is the best way to end our nation’s epidemic. State and territorial health agencies are on the front lines of responding to the current crisis of substance misuse, addiction, and drug overdose.”


ASTHO is the national nonprofit organization representing the public health agencies of the United States, the U.S. territories and freely associated states, and the District of Columbia, as well as the more than 100,000 public health professionals these agencies employ. ASTHO members, the chief health officials of these jurisdictions, are dedicated to formulating and influencing sound public health policy and to ensuring excellence in public health practice.