President Obama Proposes Funding for Heroin and Prescription Opioid Abuse

What Do You Think of this?

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In 2014 almost 30,000 people in the U.S. died as a result of prescription opiate and heroin abuse. These numbers are staggering. This new drug epidemic has seen overdose rates quickly passing the death rates of automobile crashes.

Many will agree that the 1.1 billion dollar government budget proposal aimed at reducing opioid and heroin dependence and subsequent deaths is a good thing. Questions still remain about how so many doctors and patients are being prescribed opioids and if there should be better standards put in place for these very addictive substances.

Questions We Have:

  • What kind of treatment will be paid for with this budget expansion?
  • How do we balance out the giant pharmaceutical companies pushing opiates to make money?
  • The bill mentions "medication-assisted treatment" - which probably means helping addicts gain access to Methadone or Suboxone. These drugs are controversial when it comes to long-term use, which some argue are also addictive. Should this be part of the plan and how will it be monitored?
  • It's wonderful that insurance companies will be required to help pay for addiction treatment like they would medical care, but this brings many questions to mind such as, do we need more regulation in the addiction treatment field?

Of course, we should be paying attention to the heroin epidemic, but doing so means really taking a look at some complicated factors including prescribing practices and long-term use of medication-assisted treatments like Suboxone and Methadone. Perhaps funding will result in some better laws and practices, especially surrounding prescription opiates in America, which is needed.