FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  November 1, 2017                                      CONTACT  Liz Voyles,, 202-297-9641

Big Cities Health Coalition Calls Opioid Commission Report “Missed Opportunity” to Save Lives

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Big Cities Health Coalition reacted to the Trump Administration’s long awaited opioid commission report today, which made recommendations to the President on how to stem the nation’s rapidly growing addiction crisis.

The Coalition is a forum for the leaders of America’s largest metropolitan health departments to exchange strategies and jointly address issues to promote and protect the health and safety of their residents. Collectively, BCHC member jurisdictions directly impact more than 55 million people, or one in six Americans.

“This report has 56 recommendations, each of which is a piece meant to help solve the complicated puzzle that is the opioid epidemic. Many of the recommendations call to broaden access to treatment for those with substance abuse disorders, but at the same time this Administration is continuing its effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which dedicates $183 billion to treating opioid addiction. Similarly, Congress is poised this week to virtually eliminate the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which supports the work of local health departments in communities across the country,” said Chrissie Juliano, Director of the Big Cities Health Coalition.

“Further, while the report talks at length about the need for flexibility in state and federal laws and regulations, there is little mention of local first responders who are on the front lines of this epidemic day in and day out.  What American cities need now more than anything is funding for prevention and treatment activities that are part of a comprehensive public health approach. Instead, this administration has offered a laundry list of solutions with zero new dollars to get the job done and save lives. It’s time for the President and Congress to honor their promise to do everything in their power to help Americans overcome this costly epidemic. Their actions in the past week have missed a great opportunity to make significant investments in science, expertise, and innovation which will all be needed to make substantial progress in this fight.”