Of the 500,000 people who died from drug overdoses over the last 15 years, opioids account for the majority of those deaths. Since 1999, opioid-related deaths have quadrupled.
These sobering statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with increasing outcry from the medical community and the people affected by opioid addiction, led the president to officially declare the heroin and opiate epidemic a national emergency.
“The opioid crisis is an emergency, and I am saying, officially, right now, it is an emergency. It’s a national emergency. We’re going to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money on the opioid crisis. It is a serious problem the likes of which we have never had,” Trump said.
The new declaration is a promising development in that it could divert significant cash flow toward fighting the crisis. How exactly these funds are used remains to be seen, but recommendations include:
- Rapidly increasing treatment capacity for those who need substance abuse help
- Establishing and funding better access to medication-assisted treatment programs
- Ensuring that health care providers are aware of the potential for misuse and abuse of prescription opioids by enhancing prevention efforts at medical and dental schools.
The Raleigh House: On the Front Line of the National Opioid Emergency
At The Raleigh House we’ve been helping to fight the heroin and prescription painkiller epidemic by offering comprehensive opioid rehab that addresses all aspects of addiction. From underlying causes and co-occurring conditions to the psychological and emotional impact of addiction, our approach focuses on treating the whole person.