President Donald Trump has declared the ongoing trend of opioid addiction, overdose, and death an "official" national emergency that is deserving of federal funding and attention. "It is a serious problem, the likes of which we've never had," he told members of the press outside of a national security briefing on August 10. Trump stopped short of announcing how exactly his administration plans to tackle the problem—which, according to a preliminary report from the President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and Opioid Crisis, is now responsible for more fatalities than gun violence and vehicular accidents combined. White House aides say Trump is still reviewing the report and its recommendations for action. Theoretically, however, Andrew Kolodny, co-director of opioid policy research at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, said a presidential emergency declaration could empower DEA to require prescriber education. It also might allow the U.S. Public Health Service to deliver services in communities with little medical care or drug treatment options, he speculated. Caleb Alexander, co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Drug Safety and Effectiveness, agreed that formal emergency status could be used to funnel more money toward treatment and other services; but he worried that it also could spark a law enforcement crackdown on users. "We're not going to arrest our way out of this epidemic," he warned. A White House statement issued Thursday evening said the president "has instructed his administration to use all appropriate emergency and other authorities to respond to the crisis caused by the opioid epidemic."