HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES GRANTS NEARLY $1 BILLION TO FIGHT OPIOID CRISIS
- October 9, 2018
Since the mid-2000s, science has shed some disturbing light on the nationwide Opioid Crisis. In the past three years alone, reports confirmed that millions of Americans were not only suffering from some sort of addiction to these painkillers but were also dying from opioid-induced overdoses. It also might not help that retail pharmacies across the nation have distributed millions of prescription painkillers, all provided through the guidance of our medical caregivers. In light of this major problem, the government has taken extra measures through a specialized grant program to strike the crisis at its core. The prize: $1 billion. Let’s take a closer look at this massive expenditure and see how it will impact our future.
Realities of the Opioid Crisis
Consider that approximately 100 million American people suffer from a form of chronic pain. Now think about the fact that, since 2016, retail pharmacies across the country have dispensed a form of prescription opioid to patients suffering from this condition. Given these statistics, you will not be surprised to learn that 2 million Americans suffered from opioid addiction in 2016, while an estimated 117,000 Americans died as the result of an opioid-related overdose in 2016. That number exceeds the number of war fatalities in four major wars combined.
Researchers theorize the problem started with the presumption that painkillers are not dangerous to human health.
Three types of opioids exist: natural, semi-synthetic, and synthetic (including the illegal drug heroin).
How HMS Is Fighting Opioids
Now, the American government has decided to combat the opioid disaster with more fervor than ever before. In March 2018, President Trump provided supported a staggering $903 million (nearly $1 billion) in State Opioid Response Grants to provide assistance to medical services across the nation. Through these grants, lawmakers hope to:
- Use FDA-approved medications to treat opioid use disorder
- Provide much-needed assistance to previously untreated addicts
- Reduce the percentage of opioid overdoses and deaths in our country.
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