Last week the Obama Administration shared the news about $53 million in additional funding to address opioid dependency and overdoses by expanding availability and use of naloxone, which is a drug that helps to reverse an opioid overdose. Although the money is very much appreciated and will definitely help save lives, it is only one of a few small grants that fall short from the $1.1 billion that President Obama asked from Congress.
White House Office of National Drug Control Policy director Michael Botticelli said that “simply reviving people isn’t enough to turn the tide of this epidemic.” He pleaded with legislators, indicating that they “must act to provide sufficient resources to make life-saving treatment available to everyone who seeks it.”
The announcement coincided with International Overdose Awareness Day, which aims to highlight the need for more education, prevention, intervention and treatment worldwide to save more lives from drug abuse. Currently there are approximately 100,000 people who die each year around the globe due overdoses, with nearly half of them coming from the United States alone.
Arizona is reportedly one of the states with the highest overdose rates, and will therefore receive additional funding for various treatments and medications, including buprenorphine. Although medications like naloxone and buprenorphine can be invaluable life-saving tools, rarely are they enough to solve the problem, as treatment must also include other valid forms of therapy to address the root causes of an individual’s substance abuse.
Desert Cove helps people from Arizona and around the country recover from addiction every day. If you or a loved one has a problem with opiates or any other substances, contact us today to find out more about how we can help.
In the beginning of July, President Obama released the 2014 National Drug Control Strategy. It outlined what needed to happen to improve the drug problem in the United States. Included in the report was the emphasis that more attention to addiction treatment and prevention needed to be made.
While the White House maintained a firm stance that they will not legalize drugs, they did point out that there was no way to win the war on drugs by strictly relying on the judicial system. The report listed a few startling statistics that indicate the magnitude of the drug problem in the United States and why criminal justice reform was also a necessary component.
Michael Botticelli, acting director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) gave a speech where he listed out statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He stated that the amount of drug overdose deaths have now exceeded homicides and car accidents. Botticelli indicates that this is mostly caused by the increase in opiates such as heroin and narcotic painkillers. The drug czar went on to say that every day an average of 110 people in the United States die from a drug overdose. Of those people, half of them are related to prescription drugs.
These startling statistics paint a gloomy picture. Botticelli and President Obama made it clear that there are ways to prevent drug abuse. They stated that best way to handle a drug problem is to stop it before it even starts. This seems logical to most people, but insufficient efforts have been made thus far. Therefore, increased efforts to maximize prevention programs across the country are part of the new drug strategy. Not only is prevention the easiest way to lessen the drug problem in the United States, it is also the most cost effective on a long-term basis.
There are several indications that a person is abusing alcohol or other drugs. The ONDCP director listed several characteristics of drug abuse for the audience, but specifically he spoke to healthcare providers, saying that they need to be vigilant in recognizing substance abuse addiction. He spoke about a nurse who noticed that her patient was wearing long sleeves in the summer. Upon examination the nurse was able to identify needle marks and referred the patient to treatment.
Paying more attention to the behaviors of people around us all can help spot trouble before it gets worse and help get more people into treatment before something more tragic happens. If you have a loved one in need of a long-term rehabilitation program for a drug or alcohol problem, contact Desert Cove Recovery today.