More Americans now die every year from drug overdoses than they do in motor vehicle crashes.
New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that opioids—a class of drugs that include prescription pain medications and heroin—were involved in 28,648 deaths in 2014. And between 2002 and 2013, the number of heroin-related deaths in America nearly quadrupled.
Today, the President announced his proposal to invest $1.1 billion in his FY 2017 budget proposal to address the epidemic of prescription opioid abuse and heroin use.
The President’s proposal takes a two-pronged approach. It includes $1 billion in new mandatory funding over two years to expand access to treatment for prescription drug abuse and heroin use. This funding will boost efforts to help individuals with an opioid use disorder seek treatment, successfully complete treatment, and sustain recovery. Specifically, this new funding will address the following:
The budget proposal also contains approximately $500 million—an increase of more than $90 million—to continue and build on current efforts across the Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Health and Human Services (HHS) to expand state-level prescription drug overdose prevention strategies, increase the availability of medication-assisted treatment programs, improve access to the overdose-reversal drug naloxone, and support targeted enforcement activities.
This proposal will not only expand access to help people start treatment, but help them successfully complete it and sustain their recovery. It will fund education, prevention, drug monitoring programs, and law enforcement efforts to keep illegal drugs out of our communities.