Is the Federal Government Going to Stay in the Fight on Opioid Addiction?

People Under 50 with Hearing Loss at Twice the Risk of Abusing Drugs and Alcohol

For the first time since 1990, deaths from drug overdoses dropped last year from the year before.

Why the drop?

Prescription opioid overdose deaths declined (though sadly, Fentanyl deaths continue to climb).

So, some progress is being made.

And according to experts in the field, it’s being made in large part because the federal government injected $3.3 billion in grants to states to help combat the problem.

Given this fact – one would expect that the Trump administration would be committed to continued funding for the programs that have made such a difference.

Sadly – it’s unclear whether they are. 

To date, neither the President nor members of his administration have made any commitments, leading some to worry that funding will dry up at the end of next year.

According to the New York Times:

The grants have been especially crucial in Republican-led states that decided not to expand free Medicaid coverage to low-income adults under the Affordable Care Act, which guarantees addiction treatment as an “essential benefit.” Many of these states have been hit hard by the opioid epidemic, and the grants are their main source of financing for treatment.

Already, a number of these states are starting to run out of money – and that worries many public health officials who realize the crisis is far from over.

And it’s important to stress that prescription opioids are merely the tip of the iceberg.  Drug and alcohol abuse and addiction continue to be a significant public health threat to America.

Surely if Congress and the administration can find the funds for tax cuts for the wealthiest among us, they can find dollars to fight an epidemic that is devastating the lives of millions.

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