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It also authorizes HHS to develop grants to support people who are in recovery transition to independent living and jobs, as well as develop a pilot program to provide temporary housing for those recovering from substance abuse. of the bill provides measures to prevent synthetic opioids like fentanyl from entering the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control, total opioid deaths did not increase in 2017, but deaths due to fentanyl overdoses did. Data shows the drug, which is about 50 times more potent than heroin, caused nearly 30,000 fatal overdoses last year. access to medication-assisted treatment. It removes the cap on the number of patients to whom drugs like buprenorphine, a drug cravings and easing withdrawal, from 100 to 275, and expands a grant program allowing medication-assisted treatments.

strengthen the federal government’s response to the opioid crisis,” Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), who helped put together the legislation, said in a statement after the Senate vote. “Importantly, this bill will increase access to long-term treatment and recovery while also like fentanyl from being shipped into the United States through our own Postal Service.” On the other side of the debate, Leana Wen, M.D., the former health commissioner of Baltimore (and incoming president of Planned Parenthood), said that the legislation “is simply tinkering around the edges.” Daniel Raymond, director of policy and planning for the Harm a bad thing, but I do think to some degree it’s a political document,” Raymond told the Washington Post. “When you drill down into it, it’s not that there aren’t good ideas, but it doesn’t reach the level of, this is what our nation needs right now.” and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to allow organizations to develop opioid recovery centers in a community. It also requires the Department of Health and Human Services to determine best practices and then create a grant program implementing those policies or procedures, such as the use of recovery coaches, which has

On October 24, 2018... President Trump signed a new, bipartisan bill to combat the opioid addiction epidemic. Politicians are hailing it as a major step forward, while addiction and treatment experts say it falls far short of

A package of more than 70 bills introduced targeting the opioid crisis, the Support for Patients & Communities Act:

• Reauthorizes funding from the Cures Act, which put $500 million a year toward the opioid crisis, and makes some policy changes intended to give states more • Creates a grant program for “Comprehensive Opioid Recovery Centers,” which will attempt to serve the addiction treatment and recovery needs of their communities (in part by using what’s known as an ECHO model). • Removes restrictions on medications for opioid addiction, allowing more types of health care practitioners to prescribe the drugs.

• Expands an existing program

• Advances new initiatives to educate and raise awareness about proper pain treatment among health care providers. • Attempts to improve coordination between different federal agencies to stop illicit drugs like fentanyl at the border, and gives agencies more tools to improve detection and testing at border checks. • Increases penalties for drug manufacturers and distributors related to the over-prescribing of opioids.

responders, such as police and

naloxone, a medication that reverses opioid overdoses.

• Allows federal agencies to pursue more research projects related to addiction and pain. • Makes several changes to Medicare and Medicaid to attempt to limit the over-prescription of opioid painkillers within the programs and expand access to addiction treatment, including lifting some of the current restrictions that make it harder for Medicare and Medicaid to pay for addiction treatment.

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