"The president certainly believes that we will treat it as an emergency and it is an emergency," Price told reporters on Tuesday.
Although the White House is considering all possible options to fight the opioid crisis, the Trump administration has no intention to declare a national emergency at this time because the issue can be resolved without it, Price stated.
The US Health and Human Services department is currently working on a comprehensive plan to address the epidemic and will present it to Trump in the near future, Price added. The official noted that the issue remains one of the top priorities of the administration.
Opioids, including prescription drugs and heroin, killed more than 33,000 people in the United States in 2015, the highest figure on record, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.