President Trump to declare opioid public health emergency

This Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017 photo shows an arrangement of pills of the opioid oxycodone-acetaminophen in New York. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump will direct his Department of Health and Human Services to declare the opioid crisis a nationwide public health emergency under the Public Health Service Act.

That’s according to senior White House officials, who were not authorized to publicly discuss plans before the announcement and briefed journalists on condition of anonymity.

The declaration does not come with specific funding. But officials say it will allow changes such as expended access to medical services in rural areas.

Trump will deliver a speech Thursday on fighting the opioid crisis. He’s said an emergency designation will give his administration the “power to do things that you can’t do right now.”

Trump pledged during his campaign to make fighting addiction a top priority at rallies in some of the hardest-hit states in the