WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Health and Appropriations Committees, released a statement on Thursday after President Trump declared the nation’s opioid crisis a public health emergency.

“It’s been clear for years that this tidal wave of addiction is a public health emergency, and I’m glad the president today recognized it as such. But let’s be clear, Congress passed a budget this week that would decimate our ability to fight this epidemic to help finance huge tax cuts for rich people. A true commitment to confront this crisis head on will require more funding for local communities, and more resources for families and individuals coping with opioid addiction. Today’s declaration is a total hollow promise when the administration is spending its time trying to gut the services that help those struggling with addiction.”

According to Connecticut Chief Medical Examiner Dr. James Gill, there have been 539 accidental drug overdose deaths in Connecticut over the first half of the year. The figures include 322 deaths involving fentanyl. If this rate continues, Connecticut will see a projected 1,078 overdose deaths in 2017, up from the 917 deaths last year and nearly triple the 355 deaths five years ago.