It can easily be argued that the best way to combat opioid overdoses in this country is to reduce the rates of addiction. The fewer people who become addicted to prescription opioids and heroin, the less likely people are to overdose from such drugs. Over the last year the government on both the state and federal level have taken steps to confront and reduce the ever growing opioid crisis in America. Naturally, the best place to start is in the states hardest hit by the opioid epidemic. Since 1999, opioid overdoses have quadrupled and between 2002 and 2013 the rate of heroin-related overdose deaths nearly quadrupled, according to the CDC.
CDC’s $20 Million Program
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced a $20 million program to reduce opioid overdoses, UPI reports. The program aims to improve prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) and increase prevention efforts through education.
The funds will be used in 16 states, including:
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
“The prescription drug overdose epidemic is tragic and costly, but can be reversed,” CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said in a news release. “Because we can protect people from becoming addicted to opioids, we must take fast action now, with real-time tracking programs, safer prescribing practices, and rapid response. Reversing this epidemic will require programs in all 50 states.”
Working With Doctors
The CDC program will work closely with doctors to encourage safe prescribing practices, according to the article. There is also a great need to understand the link between prescription opioid abuse and heroin use. The President’s 2016 budget proposal includes a request to bring the program to all 50 states.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please contact Design for Change to begin the journey of recovery.