"We hope that the President declares a public health emergency in this country," Christie said, speaking on behalf of the President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis.
The former US attorney compared the loss of life to opioids to the terror attacks of September 11.
"We have a 9/11-scale loss every three weeks," Christie said, adding that three-fourths of those losses are from opioid overdoses. He stressed that four out of five new heroin addicts in the US started on prescription opioids.
The commission's long-term solutions center on increased education for health professionals as well as mandatory continuing education for certain professions, according to Christie.
Monday was also new White House chief of staff John Kelly's first day on the job. According to a senior administration official, Kelly will receive "full authority" within the West Wing, signaling a shift to a more streamlined White House chain of command.
"Everyone must report to the chief of staff, including the President of the United States," Christie said.
Christie expressed optimism that this structural change would allow the President to be more "effective," suggesting that the previous setup may have hindered Trump's executive abilities.
"The three-person structure doesn't work," Christie said, adding that it led to the downfall of former chief of staff Reince Priebus. "I said all along that Reince was a bit of a victim of the structure that got set up."
Chris Christie confronts heckling fan at baseball game ORIG TC_00000000.jpg
"I think that was a very mellow reaction," Christie said. "Public