Both the government and citizens of the United States are eager to find ways to put a stop to the opioid epidemic that is running rampant throughout the country. According to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), there are some startling statistics surrounding the ever-growing opioid problem in America, including the following:
- Over 650,000 opioid prescriptions are written each day
- 3,900 people use prescription opioids for the first time each day
- 580 people try heroin for the first time each day
- 78 people lose their lives each day due to the use of opioids
Additionally, reports show that the cost of opioid abuse is $55 billion in the United States and that it costs emergency departments and inpatient care centers all across the country $20 billion per year on average. With numbers as staggering as these, it is possible for anyone to know someone who has become dependent on these substances.
Details of the 21st Century Cures Act
The 21st Century Cures Act is a bill that supplies $4.8 billion in funding to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The money is divided amongst different areas that lawmakers have deemed appropriate for immediate attention. $1.8 billion of the funding will be utilized for cancer research, $1.6 billion is going towards research on brain diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, $500 million will be used for new funding for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and last but not least, $1 billion is being granted to help states manage opioid abuse concerns in their communities.
With more funding going towards states that are known to grapple with opioid addiction, the hope is that more people will be able to access the appropriate care needed when their addiction to opioids becomes problematic. Currently, one of the biggest hurdles that many people who are addicted to these potent substances face is that they are unable to obtain care of any kind, as it can be too expensive. Also, care options that are available within one’s budget often do not address the whole problem of addiction, meaning that many psychological and emotional issues surrounding one’s use go uncared for, causing those addicted to opioids to struggle with sustaining sobriety. This funding can hopefully make it so those addicted to opioids can receive the correct care needed and that opioids can be controlled in a safer manner, preventing them from falling into the wrong hands.
What Can Be Done for Opioid Addiction in the Meantime?
As with most funding, it can take a while to get plans and initiatives off the ground and running. However, that does not mean that communities who are being hit hard by opioid addiction cannot take action on their own in the meantime.
One of the most effective things that the public can do is become educated on opioid addiction. This includes understanding how it occurs, what it looks like when someone is addicted, and what substances are considered opioids. All of this information can be obtained through quick research on the internet, as well as by asking other community members, such as pharmacists and police officers, who have this type of information.
For many communities, the introduction of Narcan, a medication that is capable of reversing the effects of an opioid overdose, has been highly effective in saving the lives of those who might have otherwise died as a result of overdose. This medication is most commonly used by police officers, EMTs, and firefighters, though it can be utilized by those who have a loved one who is at risk for overdosing on opioids. By possessing and knowing how to administer this medication, someone who might have lost his or her life to opioids can avoid a fatal overdose, obtain a chance to get into treatment, and make the life-saving decisions needed to live happily and healthily.
At Life Healing Center, we can help you or a loved one if an opioid addiction is present. Through the thorough, comprehensive care that we supply, we can ensure that all aspects of an opioid addiction are being properly treated, and that those who are reaching out for help get the quality care they deserve. If you or someone you care for needs treatment for an opioid addiction before it is too late, please contact us as soon as possible. We can help.