One in three. That’s the number of Americans the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) estimates used prescription opioids in 2015. Overdose deaths from heroin and other opioids topped more than 52,000 and are expected to be even higher again for 2016.
The Presidential Opioid Commission, headed by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie recommended last week that the President “declare a national emergency” on behalf of the crisis which results in the deaths of over 140 Americans a day on average. Declaring a national emergency would reportedly allow the executive branch of the US government to allocate funds for the expansion of drug treatment facilities, equip police with naloxone, and provide law enforcement agencies the funding to crack down on drug smugglers.
President Receives Opioid Commission Recommendations
President Trump addressed the nation recently on the opioid crisis and initially declined to declare a national emergency, instead choosing to put the focus on stronger law enforcement for a “drug free society”. He has since indicated that he supported the emergency declaration, but it has been overshadowed with other news. The administration is said to still be working to complete a “comprehensive strategy” to be presented to Trump, but in the meantime no new plans or steps were outlined for the American public.
Medicaid, which covers drug treatment for thousands of Americans, as well as federal prevention and research programs face large budget cuts by the White House at a time when the rates of accidental overdose are growing rapidly. With no tangible plan on the table, activists, treatment center employees, and families of those struggling with substance abuse are worried about the future of this crisis. A recent article published in the New York Times noted that in one year, drug overdoses killed more Americans than the Vietnam War did, and that overdose deaths continue to grow at an alarming rate.
More Treatment Options Needed for Long-Term Recovery
One thing is clear: we cannot continue to lose Americans at such a staggering pace. We need more treatment options, including for those who may have previously attempted a traditional approach and been unsuccessful. We need more treatment facilities which offer flexible schedules so that a person can continue to work and support his/herself while still being able to receive the treatment that is desperately needed. We need to fund more research for all methods of treatment in order to have a clearer picture of what helps people get clean and stay sober. We need to involve friends and family in the treatment process wherever possible to eliminate the stigma of addiction and create the foundation for lasting success in recovery.
Centered Recovery, located in north Metro Atlanta, is a mindfulness-based substance abuse treatment facility dedicated to bringing a real solution to the crisis of addiction for both Americans in general and for each individual client we see. We have committed to finding licensed therapists, counselors, and educators who are not only passionate about helping people move past the chains of addiction, but who are highly qualified in their fields and continue to learn everything they can in order to provide the highest quality of care.
To hear more about the program and find out if Centered Recovery is right for you or your loved one, call us today at 1-800-556-2966.