The Opioid Epidemic Two Years Later
Meanwhile, the opioid crisis is still a massive problem across the U.S...
Are we there yet?
In October 2017, President Trump vowed to combat the opioid epidemic with all available federal resources. The crisis is characterized by the over-prescription of addictive opioid pain medication, which has led to the misuse of opioids including prescription medication, heroin, and synthetic opioids like fentanyl. Two years later, What’s happened? In the past year, Congress has allocated $3.3 billion to expedite studies of the opioid epidemic and approve Medicaid expansions in New Hampshire and Louisiana. But critics say federal efforts have been underfunded and underwhelming.
Experts say despite the $3.3 billion in funding, a number like $100 billion over 5 years is what's needed. Trump has called for the repeated repeal of Obamacare. But studies show without Obamacare, an additional 200,000 Americans with opioid use disorders would lose insurance coverage to pay for their treatments Harvard University. Combating the opioid epidemic has been a top domestic policy prioity for the administration and a focus of the first lady's Be Best campaign that has found widespread, bipartisan support. The Trump administration secured $6 billion in new funding over the next two years to combat opioid abuse. Earlier this month, HHS announced a $350 million plan to reduce opioid deaths by 40 percent in three years in certain communities.
Officials in states like Ohio, which had the second highest opioid overdose rate in 2016, said Trump’s national emergency declaration had no effect in their states. In 2018, there were over 70,000 drug overdose deaths in the United States based on a report from the CDC. Experts say a mix of funding and access for those with opioid addiction, as well as federal pressure on pharmaceutical companies, could save tens of thousands of lives over the next decade as stated in a Stanford University report.