Obama Asks for More Than $1 Billion in New Funding for Opioid Addiction Treatment

pills and money 6-4-14

President Obama is asking for more than $1 billion in new funding to address the opioid epidemic, USA Today reports. The funding would expand access to treatment for prescription drug abuse and heroin use.

Under the proposal, the new funds would be used to help people with an opioid use disorder to seek and successfully complete treatment and sustain recovery. It would expand access to substance use treatment providers and to medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders.

The funds will be included in the fiscal year 2017 budget request, the article notes. They include $920 million to support agreements with states to expand access to medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders. States can use these funds to expand treatment and lower the cost of services.

Fifty million dollars would be used to expand access to 700 substance use treatment providers in areas that need mental health treatment the most, while $30 million would be used to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment programs using medication-assisted treatment. Those funds would also help identify opportunities to improve treatment for patients with opioid use disorders.

The proposal also includes about $500 million to build on current efforts by the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services to expand state-level prescription drug overdose prevention strategies. These funds would increase the availability of medication-assisted treatment programs, improve access to the opioid overdose antidote naloxone, and support targeted enforcement activities.

In a statement, the White House said the proposal “will not only expand access to help people start treatment, but help them successfully complete it and sustain their recovery. It will increase education, prevention, drug monitoring programs, and law enforcement efforts to keep illegal drugs out of our communities.”

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    John Byrom

    February 4, 2016 at 4:26 PM

    We keep watching addicts fall off the cliff, we put them in the ambulance and take them to get treatment. When are we going to put a fence at the top of the cliff. Every one of the addicts we talk to it started with smoking marijuana. The last administration concentrated on marijuana and in 8 years drug use overall was reduced 25%. This administration stoped the DEA from any marijuana work and they will go down as the worst administration when it comes to substance abuse. When the marijuana legalization movement took hold so did the prescription drug problem.

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    M. Wolf

    February 4, 2016 at 11:36 AM

    Why do we always wait however until a problem is of epidemic proportions! Where is the support to prevent these problems before they ever get this bad? Access to treatment is great and enforcement is a component, yet wouldn’t it be a smarter use of funds to actually prevent these tragedies from occurring in the first place?
    Maybe the pharmaceutical companies that pushed opiate based pain killers in the first place should foot the bill.

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    Jim Sharp

    February 3, 2016 at 8:17 PM

    About frickin’ time!

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    Liz Doroski

    February 3, 2016 at 4:38 PM

    The irony of this is so thick. A Black president throws $1 billion at treatment on a drug that is disproportionately affecting White people. Back in the ’90’s when crack was disproportionately affecting Black people, addicts were hardly afforded the same courtesy. At least Obama knows how to do the right thing.

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