Lt. Governor Cagle Unites Georgia Advocates in Support of President Trump’s Declaration of the Opioid Crisis as a Public Health Emergency

October 27, 2017

ATLANTA, October 26, 2017 – Today, in recognition of President Trump’s decision to mobilize his administration to address the opioid crisis by declaring a nationwide Public Health Emergency, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle and Senate Health and Human Services Chair Renee Unterman joined together to commend the President for acting, while pledging their support to lead our state’s fight against the opioid crisis during the 2018 Legislative Session.

President Trump’s declaration will allow expanded access to telemedicine, empower our state leaders to cut through bureaucratic regulations, and unlock new resources and flexibility to get patients access to lifesaving treatments and help more Georgians break the cycle of addiction.

Last year, more than 60,000 Americans lost their lives to drug overdoses, including 1,426 Georgians. Between 2009 and 2014, the State of Georgia had the nation’s largest year-over-year percentage increase of in-patient services related to overdoses; and in 2015, our state ranked 11th in per-capita prescription opioid overdoses. Every day, addiction to opioids, heroin, and synthetic drugs devastate the lives of thousands of our citizens.

Senate HHS Chair Renee Unterman said: "Throughout this year, I have worked closely with Lt. Governor Cagle to develop a comprehensive set of solutions that will allow our state to jump to the forefront of taking on addiction, the opioid crisis, and strengthening behavioral health services. In the coming weeks, we will come forward with legislation ready on day 1 in January to continue our fight against this epidemic.”

Jim Langford, Chair of the Substance Abuse Research Alliance (SARA) and Executive Director of Georgia Prevention Project, echoed Senator Unterman’s comments and praised her and Lt. Governor Cagle’s leadership in addressing the opioid crisis, remarking: “SARA is proud to partner with more than 120 key individuals and organizations to offer recommendations to address the threat of opioid and heroin addiction. I look forward to joining Lt. Governor Cagle and Senator Unterman to aggressively promote innovative and effective policies that will stop this crisis from worsening and save countless lives.”

“I commend President Trump's leadership to combat the disease of opioid addiction. I will continue to lead our state to take bold and decisive action to fight the opioid epidemic by unlocking every available resource,” Cagle added. “We recognize that overdoses are just the tip of the iceberg, and for every life lost, there are thousands more struggling with addiction. During the 2018 Legislative Session, I will work with stakeholders across our state to advance community-based solutions – focused on prevention, treatment, and recovery – to defeat the opioid crisis and ensure that no more lives are cut short.”



Danny Kanso
(404) 656-5030