The war on opiate drugs is escalating, and our presidential candidates are starting to include it in their campaigns. Back in the Obama Administration, they took measures to help the situation by pushing for additional funding from Congress. Today, the Trump administration is also continuing the efforts to win the war of opiate drugs. Slowly, but steadily, the White House is coming together to help communities on every corner of the state win the opioid epidemic.
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Starting with Suboxone Treatment
Suboxone treatment may be controversial, but it does help some people to get off of opiates like heroin and oxycontin. Currently, qualified doctors are only allowed to prescribe suboxone to 100 patients. The Obama Administration approved an expansion from 100 to 275 to increase the availability of the drug to people suffering from opiate addiction.
The move can be controversial because suboxone itself is highly addictive if it is misused or gets into the wrong hands. However, it’s a step in some direction that might be helpful for many individuals.
On the other hand, there is a call for national expansion for medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to help control the opioid epidemic. Many argue that this is an excellent tool for achieving sobriety, and statistics show that it is marginally more effective than the recovery models that do not use medication.
Medication can also help ease the withdrawal symptoms, but the downside is that they can also be dangerous if misused. Unfortunately, addicts are precisely the kind of population that would abuse them.
The truth is that the answer to helping the opiate drugs epidemic doesn’t just sit with a single medication increase. The approach needs to come from a vast pool of different resources that includes doctors, health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, law enforcement, the government, and also the public. Many things need to change and come together for something to turn around.
How The White House Is Helping The War On Opiate Drugs
There is no longer any denying that we are in the middle of an epidemic that is touching countless people’s lives. Tens of thousands of Americans are dying each year. In March 2016, the White House announced many steps addressing the prescription drug and heroin problem. They included:
- Better access to treatment for all patients
- Creating a task force for mental health and substance use disorder
- Making overdose reversal drugs like Narcan more available
- Expanding beyond inner cities and looking at rural areas and their drug abuse
- Syringe service programs to provide clean syringes to IV drug users, also known as Harm Reduction
The New Plans
Under the Trump Administration, the federal budget reaches billions of dollars to help find a solution to the opioid epidemic. Some of the new ideas include:
- Preventing drug use initiation and reducing demand with overdose tracking
- Cracking down on the bad actors fueling drug supply
- Expanding access to evidence-based, world-class care and addiction treatment programs
Some of these measures also hope to cut opioid prescription fills by one-third within three years. But, we need to think about how we can help each other at a community level.
The Next Steps
Changing the course of this epidemic is going to be something like turning a large cargo ship around. It will take time, it won’t happen overnight, and it also will take the dedication of a large group of people. It is clear that something needs to change to prevent more people from needlessly dying from an overdose, and the government taking steps towards achieving this is a great start.
The next steps happen at a state and community level. We need to lift the stigma of drug and substance abuse treatment. When we’re able to see the available help has a resource rather than a punishment, more people will seek drug treatment.
Seeking Treatment for Opiate Drugs Abuse
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, don’t let stigma get the best of you. Please remember that there are treatment options available that can help you get through this. Our team of specialists at Lighthouse Recovery Institute can help you find the best treatment program to battle your addiction. Whether you need inpatient programs or intensive outpatient programs, our treatment center works with you to find the right course of treatment.