Federal Government to Spend an Extra $100 Million to Fight Drug Abuse
The Obama Administration will spend an additional $100 million to fight drug abuse, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell announced. A major focus of the funding will be medication-assisted treatment, The Hill reports.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will award up to $11 million annually to 11 states to enhance and expand their treatment service systems for people with opioid use disorders. The SAMHSA grants will provide up to $33 million over three years.
The grants promote effective, comprehensive, coordinated care including evidence-based medication-assisted treatment and recovery support services, according to a news release.
“For those Americans who have fallen into opioid addiction and dependency, we can make the greatest impact by helping them move into recovery,” Burwell said. “This funding will expand access to medication-assisted treatment and help states and community health centers continue to improve their responses to the opioid epidemic.”
Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that heroin abuse is rising across the United States. The strongest risk factor for a heroin use disorder is a prescription opioid use disorder, the CDC said. People addicted to opioid painkillers are 40 times more likely to abuse or be dependent on heroin.
More than half a million Americans used heroin in 2013, nearly a 150 percent increase since 2007. Heroin-involved overdose deaths almost doubled from 2011 to 2013. More than 8,200 people died from heroin overdoses that year.
HHS also released guidance to help states implement innovative approaches to substance use disorder treatment.