What 'public health crisis' means to Augsburg recovery program

Matt Revers' college experience included three universities and plenty of heroin. Two trips to Hazelden for treatment and seven years later, he's found a home at Augsburg with the Step Up program.

It's a sober dorm that includes counseling and many others who have been through the same experience as Revers, giving many the opportunity to turn their lives around.

The people living in the dorm are thankful for President Donald Trump's Thursday announcement that the opioid crisis is a national public health emergency, claiming more American lives than the Vietnam War last year--though many say it isn't enough.

"To make this a  public health crisis we are forgetting about the person," says Patrice Salmeri, the Executive Director of Recovery Advancement at Augsburg. "We are talking about an inanimate object of heroin or opioids, and we are forgetting about people."

Trump's declaration was different from the "National Emergency" designation that he had previously promised, which would have carried with it extra funding that, at least for the time being, will be withheld. 

Next week, the federal Opioids Commission report comes out, leaving many like Revers and Salmeri wondering whether the word recovery will even be mentioned after the first version left it out.