Congress’s approach to dealing with the opioid crisis is expensive and still a struggle. While there is a reduction of opioid overdose deaths because of the introduction of Narcan in emergencies, so much more can be done. It is important to see what Congress is doing now about the opioid crisis to better figure out what more can be done outside of the solutions we see today.
How Serious is the Opioid Crisis Right Now?
While the economic impact of illegal drugs is costing our country billions, the overdose deaths of prescription drugs are in trillions. People are spending over $100 billion every year on cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine. The 2015 National Survey on Drug Use says 21.7 million people are in need of addiction treatment but only 2.5 million receive it. That means that 88% of people are either not receiving treatment or not seeking it. Many with addiction tend to have a mental illness along with it which makes it even more challenging to obtain and recover from treatment.
What Measures are Taken Now Towards the Opioid Crisis?
Congress passed major legislation by the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act which advanced several treatments and recovery initiatives, invested in prevention, and boosted efforts to fight illegal synthetic drugs like fentanyl. This act will take time to fully take effect. Other initiatives moving forward is the HR 2439 The Opioid Workforce Act of 2019 increased the number of residency positions eligible for graduate medical education payments for hospitals with addiction or pain management programs by a thousand. This helps make awareness towards the nationwide shortage of addiction specialists in medicine.
There is also the HR 1614 The John S. McCain Opioid Addiction Prevention Act which limits the numbers of opioids initially prescribed for patients with acute pain. Lastly, the HR 2062 The Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety Act allows doctors to see if a patient is already taking medication for addiction treatment that can have harmful interactions with another drug. This can prevent doctors from prescribing patients with opioids for severe pain to lead to relapse or overdose. Even though these actions have helped so far, there is always room for more effective strategies. Nearly half of American families have a relative with a substance abuse disorder and is still growing. Every community across the nation would need to help to ensure that Americans are protected from opioids.
At Alta Loma Transformational Living, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms. Alta Loma uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, where you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan. We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit, so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 866-457-3843.