Magazine article State Legislatures

Opioid Offensive Ongoing

Magazine article State Legislatures

Opioid Offensive Ongoing

Article excerpt

Opioid overdoses continue to kill Americans at an alarming rate. Improving access to effective treatment for substance use disorders, including opioid addiction, would help combat this public health crisis. "Ensuring that people with substance use disorders have access to evidence-based care is essential to reducing opioid overdose deaths," says Cynthia Reilly, director of the substance use prevention and treatment initiative at The Pew Charitable Trusts.

The Trump administration announced in April that it will award a total of $485 million in grants to all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the territories to help improve access to treatments. "Opioids were responsible for over 33,000 deaths in 2015; this alarming statistic is unacceptable to me," Tom Price, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, said when he announced the grants. "We cannot continue to lose our nation's citizens to addiction."

Price said his department is committed to supporting the most clinically sound, effective and efficient prevention, treatment and recovery services. The department identified four areas for improvement: public health surveillance, pain management, access to treatment and recovery services, and the availability and distribution of overdose-reversing drugs. It will also support cutting-edge research.

Certain insurance policies and practices create barriers for people needing treatment as well as for the providers offering care. …

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