President Obama released his new budget proposal for the 2017 fiscal year.
Within it, he plans to allocate $1.1 billion to address the opioid and
heroin abuse epidemic sweeping the nation.
In 2014, the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported an increase in deaths caused by drugs and opioid use. Studies
showed that 40,055 individuals died because of a drug overdose. Of that
total, 28,648 people used
heroin and prescription drugs. Statistic shows that more Americans are now dying because of heroin than
because of car crashes.
The number has increased in recent years. Given the serious nature of drug
abuse and addiction, the Obama administration made it a priority to address
the epidemic. In his
new budget proposal for the 2017 fiscal year, President Obama proposes allocating $1.1 billion
to combat the national opioid and heroin issue. The budget assigns funds
for two-year mandatory aid for drug treatment programs and options.
Obama’s budget focuses on providing drug treatment services to those
who seek it. A 2012 study exposed that of the 2.4 million Americans dependent
on opioids, only 1 million had access to medication-assisted treatment.
The funds expand access to the necessary resources for recovery.
The President’s new budget proposes a two-tiered approach in addressing
the epidemic. First, one billion dollars will be given to fund mandatory
programs for heroin and prescription abuse.
A breakdown of the budget includes:
- $30 million to evaluate and comment on the effectiveness of the treatment programs
- $50 million in National Health Service Corps funding to help an average
of 700 providers of disorder treatment centers
- $920 million for medication-assisted treatment programs to address opioid
The budget allows for $500 million to go towards the Department of Justice
and Health and Human Service’s ongoing efforts to expand access
to medication-assisted treatment plans and the opportunity to obtain reverse-overdose
The Secretary for Health and Human Services, Sylvia Burwell, states,
Opioid abuse and overdose has hurt families across this nation, rich and
poor, black and white, urban and rural; no community has been immune.
Today’s budget announcement would mean a significant investment
in this fight. We could do more to save lives and turn this epidemic around.
At Koffel Brininger Nesbitt, we believe drug use and abuse is an illness, not
a criminal offense. Those dependent on opioids and heroin need treatment
rather than jail time. We commend the government’s new budget proposal
and hope that by treating drug addiction, we can keep the sick out of
jail. If you have been charged with a drug offense, contact our Ohio drug
crimes attorney today.