In line with its perennial endeavor to smother the opioid epidemic in the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently awarded $28.6 million to 44 U.S. states to help them beef up their efforts against the opioid onslaught. Even back in July 2017, the CDC had awarded over $12 million in funding to 23 states and Washington D.C. for combating the opioid epidemic.
This extra funding, by the CDC, is part of the five-point strategy of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) directed at fighting the opioid epidemic. “One piece of HHS’s five-point strategy for combating the opioid crisis is improving our understanding of the epidemic through better public health data,” said HHS Secretary, Tom Price, in a press release. “The expansion of these CDC programs, made possible by the legislation President Trump signed earlier this year, is an important part of our commitment to help states combat the scourge of opioid addiction and overdose.”
The funding, with the intent of providing a huge impetus in dealing with the opioid crisis, will benefit the following areas:
While the opioid epidemic continues to plague the United States, such type of funding will empower the CDC to support all the states through its Overdose Prevention in States (OPIS) effort. This encompasses three programs, namely:
Under the PfS program, 27 states will receive a funding of $19.3 million as program expansion supplemental awards. On the other hand, 12 states and Washington, D.C. will be granted $4.6 million under the DDPI program.
The implementation of the PfS program and DDPI funding will expedite prevention activities by promoting prescription drug monitoring programs, enhancing associated clinical feedback, and propagating the messages of risks related to opioid use.
Drug overdose is an unpleasant reality in U.S.
Drug overdose and its fatalities have almost held the country hostage. What is more harrowing is the fact that the numbers continue to rise. Hence, funding like this will somewhat help in preventing the proliferation of this national scourge. “Drug overdoses have dramatically increased over the last two decades in America,” said Brenda Fitzgerald, MD, director of the CDC. She reiterates that this additional funding will definitely help the states scale “prevention efforts to fight this crisis and save lives.”
Recent data released by the government also highlights the bleak picture of the opioid crisis in the country. For instance, reports claim that heroin overdose deaths have scaled 640 percent since 2002 in the country. From 2,089 heroin overdose deaths in 2002, the toll has risen to 15,446 deaths in 2016. Even fentanyl overdoses have wreaked havoc, with experts estimating 20,000 deaths resulting from this in the current year.
Dealing with addiction
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