Democrats Ask Drug Policy Office to Do More to Combat Opioid Epidemic
Twenty Democratic senators are asking the Office of National Drug Control Policy to do more to combat the opioid epidemic, according to the Associated Press.
The National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD) is calling on House and Senate appropriators to increase funding of the federal addictions (SAPT) block grant by $150 million in FY2010.
“The current economy poses even more challenges to the country's underfunded addiction system,” NASADAD said in a letter to lawmakers. “For example, we know that unemployed persons are more than twice as likely to be without health insurance and twice as likely to be in need substance abuse treatment services compared to those with jobs … Given that over 5 million jobs were lost in the U.S. between May 2007 and February 2009, it is likely that state systems will see an ever greater demand for addiction services. An increase in SAPT Block Grant funds is critical in order to help States expand service capacity.”
The block grant represents 64 percent of state addiction prevention funding as well as a major portion of treatment money. President Obama's FY2010 budget requests level funding for the block grant.