Trump to issue opioid 'emergency' declaration. Maryland leaders hope it prompts real change. (Baltimore Sun)

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Lead poisoning cases fell 19 percent in Baltimore last year, even as more children tested for exposure (Baltimore Sun)

The number of Baltimore children with lead poisoning fell 19 percent in 2017, even as more children were tested for exposure to the powerful neurotoxin.

Statewide, the number of Maryland children found to have elevated levels of lead in their blood held steady even as the number of children tested increased by 10 percent, according to a Maryland Department of the Environment report released Tuesday.

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Trump declared an emergency over opioids. A new report finds it led to very little. (Vox)

To much fanfare last year, President Donald Trump ordered his administration to declare a public health emergency over the opioid epidemic. “As Americans, we cannot allow this to continue,” Trump said at the time. “It is time to liberate our communities from this scourge of drug addiction.”

When I’ve asked experts about these approaches, it’s not that any of them are bad. It’s that they fall short. For instance, Leana Wen, the former health commissioner of Baltimore (and soon-to-be president of Planned Parenthood), said that the Support for Patients and Communities Act “is simply tinkering around the edges.”

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Azar Unveils Plan to Help Pregnant Patients Quit Opioids (MedPage Today)

States will get help from the federal government integrating services for pregnant and postpartum Medicaid patients with opioid use disorder under a pilot program announced Tuesday by Health and Hu

Public health experts in Maryland are applauding President Donald Trump’s plan to declare an emergency to confront the nation’s opioid crisis, but warn the impact of the move will depend heavily on the steps his administration takes after the paperwork is signed.

“A state of emergency is long overdue,” said Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen, a national voice on the issue. “Imagine if this was ebola and there were over 100 people dying a day. There’d be no question.”

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