RACE TO ERASE OPIOIDS

In 2018, more than two million Americans will suffer from addiction to prescription or illicit opioids. In 2017, opioids killed more people than car accidents or gun violence; drug over doses are now the leading cause of injury death in the United States. Opioid-involved overdose deaths have doubled in the past 10 years and more recently, opioid-involved overdose deaths have risen by one-third since 2013.

President Donald Trump has assigned more than $1 billion in funding to address drug addiction and the opioid crisis. More than $800 million has been distributed for prevention, treatment, first responders, prescription drug monitoring programs, recovery and other care in communities, inpatient settings, and correctional systems. Trump distributed $254 million in funding for high risk communities, law enforcement and first responder coordination. An $81 million, six-year joint research partnership between the Department of Defense and the Department of Veteran Affairs has been created to focus on nondrug approaches to managing pain in order to address the needs of service members and veterans. In addition, the administration has promised to increase treatment for those suffering from addiction, which includes expanded access to medication assisted treatment (where patients are effectively weaned off opioids under a physician’s supervision).