The state of drug use in our country is at its worst in decades, with heroin and opioid abuse topping the list.
Counterfeit pain and anxiety medications are being laced with fentanyl, which is an extremely powerful, deadly opioid.
Fentanyl or fentanyl-laced drugs have been responsible for a high number of overdoses and deaths, with the largest numbers being in California and Maryland.
In March, President Obama joined leaders at the National RX Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit in Atlanta, Georgia, to address the drug epidemic in our country. He proposed $1.1 billion in funding to help every American who has an opioid abuse problem to get the help that they need.
Some of the administration’s actions that have been put into place are:
- Increased access to medication-assisted treatment and behavior health support for those addicted to opioids.
- A release of $94 million in new funding to 271 Community Health Centers across the nation. This is set to help up to 124,000 new patients.
- Funding of $11 million for eleven states to increase their medication-assisted treatment services.
- The distribution of 10,000 pocket guides for medical health practitioners to use that include a checklist for prescribing medications for opioid abuse disorder.
- A release of $11 million for states to purchase and distribute naloxone.
- The expansion of the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s heroin initiative among regional High Density Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTAs).
- A $7 million in funding for the Anti-Heroin Task Force Program to advance public safety and investigate the distribution of heroin.
- Expansion of syringe service programs for people who inject drugs.
- More than 60 medical schools will require their students to take classes on prescriber education.
- A presidential directive requiring all federal health care professionals to be trained in opioid prescribing practices by 2017.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidelines for prescribing opioids for chronic pain.
Hopefully with these actions put into place, we will begin to see a drop in overdose fatalities over the next few years.
If you or someone you love is suffering from addiction and need help, contact Great Oaks Recovery Center today at (877) 977-3268.
Overdose Death Rates. (2015, December). Retrieved August, 2016.
Fact Sheet: Obama Administration Announces Additional Actions to Address the Prescription Opioid Abuse and Heroin Epidemic. (2016, March 29). Retrieved August, 2016.
Fake Prescription Drugs Laced with Fentanyl. National Institute on Drug Abuse.