Why Obama Administration’s New Measures to Tackle Opioid Epidemic Can Yield Results

The entire America is besieged by the problem of prescription drug overdose, which kills more people than any other drug in the country. The grim situation arising out of prescription drug abuse has made everybody sit up and take notice of the issue. That includes President Barack Obama who has announced various initiatives to counter it, especially in last one year.

“What we have to recognize is in this global economy of ours that the most important thing we can do is to reduce demand for drugs, and the only way we reduce demand is if we’re providing treatment and thinking about this as public health problem and not just a criminal problem,” said the President at the recently held National Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit in Atlanta.

Measures like ensuring greater availability of drugs that save lives in the eventuality of overdoses, expanding Medicaid and making it easier for patients to obtain medication-based treatment without any hassles, are a few of the all-important resolutions the Obama administration has made.

His support to the cause in a big way has come as a great respite for people who are at the receiving end of this mayhem — in the form of a loved one getting hooked on prescription drugs or losing peace and happiness to it. One person dying every 19 minutes due to an opioid overdose is certainly alarming. The federal government’s measures follow Obama’s proposal for $1.1 billion fund allocation to tackle the menace in his last annual budget presented in February 2016.

Let’s take a look at how the federal government’s recent measures and decisions are expected to go a long way in dealing with the opioid epidemic:

Medication-assisted treatment

It is a key component in addressing opioid addiction and overdose where a patient is administered drugs like methadone and buprenorphine. They work best when provided in conjunction with behavioral treatment, alleviating both the withdrawal symptoms and any emotional upheavals. The President emphasized on making these treatments available to the common people more easily so that the number of patients getting access to adequate treatments is maximized.

Enabling doctors and treatment expansion

The doctors who were by now bounded by the federal laws can prescribe buprenorphine to 200 patients against the earlier cap of 100 patients. Buprenorphine is an opioid medication which is administered in private for opioid addiction by an authorized physician. Due to its pharmacological and safety profile, it is a highly recommended medication for opioid addiction. But the number of doctors qualified to administer buprenorphine is also below par and at present it stands at 30,000 in the whole country. The Obama administration has motivated 2,200 additional doctors so far to enroll for a training program to buprenorphine prescribing. This can make a huge difference to the ongoing tussle between prescription drug abuse and measures to counter them.

Assuring further help

Apart from the above measures, the Obama administration has pledged additional help, which is lauded by public health personnel. The forming of a Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Task Force, for example, can significantly bring down the cases of opioid overdose in the country. There is an emphasis on enrolling more and more people into Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program for a greater access to mental health and substance use treatment benefits. The Department of Justice offering a $7 million initiative for policing and investigating heroin distribution is another important step. It has further promised guidance from the Department of Health and Human Services for the needle exchange programs which are federally funded.

When executed to the full potential, these measures would definitely make a huge difference to the status quo and manage to considerably bring down the negative impacts of prescription drugs in the future.

If you or a loved one is addicted to any prescription drug, call the Prescription Drug Addiction Helpline today. The representatives at our 24/7 helpline number 866–623–3847 can give you information about the good prescription drug abuse treatment centers in Texas. There are a handful of prescription abuse treatment centers, Texas offering long-term sobriety our experts can connect you to the best in the business.

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