Press Room

ASTHO Statement on Trump Administration's Latest Opioid Efforts

ARLINGTON, VA (Oct. 24, 2018)—One year ago, the Trump administration declared the nation’s opioid crisis a public health emergency, garnering attention and additional resources to combat one of the deadliest epidemics plaguing the United States. Michael Fraser, CEO of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), issued the following statement acknowledging the progress made by Congress and the Administration, which has enabled states and territories to save more lives at the ground level.

“State and territorial health officials and their leadership teams are at the forefront of America’s opioid epidemic working with federal and local partners to save lives every day. The federal leadership and resources to address the crisis have greatly improved state capacity to respond by preventing overdose deaths, monitoring the epidemic, expanding access to treatment, and supporting addiction prevention and awareness campaigns.

While preliminary data show that overdoses may be declining in some states, the rise in the use of fentanyl and other substances reminds us that we must take a comprehensive approach to preventing addiction—one that includes recovery and treatment—and a public health approach to building healthy and resilient communities. Healthy communities support healthy Americans, and state and territorial health officials are dedicated to achieving optimal health for all. 

ASTHO looks forward to maintaining its partnership with the Administration and Congress to encourage sustained, predictable, and increased funding and enhanced programs to address substance abuse and misuse.”


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.