U.S. Announces $4.6 Billion Budget for Fighting the Opioid Crisis

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Written by: on 26th March, 2018

The federal government has announced plans to spend $4.6 billion on fighting the U.S. opioid crisis for the 2018 fiscal year. This opioid allocation is part of the $1.3 trillion budget appropriation that was recently signed by President Trump, and will be invested in treatment, prevention, and law enforcement efforts to reduce rates of opioid addiction and overdose deaths. Under the new budget, millions of Americans will be able to receive treatment for opioid addiction as needed.

How Will the $4.6 Billion Opioid Budget Be Spent?

This year’s opioid budget is three times higher than the amount currently being used by the federal government to fight opioid addiction. Every state will receive a minimum of $4 million, with some states receiving higher amounts on behalf of suffering higher overdose death rates. The provision is expected to make a large positive impact on states with small populations being hit especially hard by the crisis, such as New Hampshire and West Virginia.

American Indian tribes will also receive a portion of the federal funds to fight the opioid crisis, since recent data shows people with Native American heritage suffer higher rates of opioid addiction compared to other ethnic groups. Some of the budget will be used to expand specialized courts for people dependent on opioids, and to help people being released from prison stay clean following their release. Law enforcement will use a portion of the funds to hire additional workers to patrol the borders and reduce opioid trafficking, and to purchase more equipment that can be used to detect deadly drugs like fentanyl.

An estimated $500 million will be allotted strictly for opioid-related research, while millions more will be used to expand access to treatment in areas being hit hardest by the epidemic. For instance, Kentucky will use a portion of its opioid budget to provide law enforcement with overdose reversal drug naloxone — a major expense that until now has drained the state’s resources as overdose rates remain high. Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri who is overseeing much of the opioid funding says the $4.6 billion will help tackle the opioid crisis from every angle to help the U.S. gain more control and save a higher number of lives.

What Are the Best Treatments for Opioid Addiction?

Opioid addiction can be treated using a number of different detox methods and therapies, but many U.S. states are looking to expand access to medication-assisted treatment, or MAT. MAT uses a whole-person approach to treating opioid addiction, and combines medications with behavioral therapy to help people overcome addiction both physically and psychologically. Medications used in MAT for opioid addiction can help regulate brain chemistry, block the euphoric effects of opioids, and relieve cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone are three medications currently approved by the FDA for use in treating opioid addiction using MAT.

Scientific evidence shows that MAT can:

  • Reduce the risk for relapse
  • Improve patient survival rates
  • Lower the risk for HIV and hepatitis C
  • Increase retention rates in treatment
  • Reduce rates of illicit opioid use

Research indicates that MAT is greatly underused despite its success rates associated with helping people overcome opioid addiction. But the new federal budget proposes to expand access to treatments like MAT so people can become healthier and sober, and reduce their risk for a deadly overdose.

Find an Opioid Treatment Center Near You

In addition to MAT, opioid addiction can be safely and effectively treated using a medical detox, medically supervised detox, and rapid detox. Opioid addiction can be treated at an inpatient detox center where patients can live at the facility and gain access to 24/7 medical care, or in an outpatient setting where patients can receive prescriptions and recover from opioid dependence at home while attending daily or weekly therapy sessions.

Use our detox center directory to find an opioid treatment center in your city, or explore options in other states to recover near loving and supportive friends and family.

For help with finding the best treatment center for you or your loved one, call our 24/7 confidential helpline at 800-483-2193(Who Answers?) to discuss your options with an experienced addiction counselor. We’ll help you find free or low-cost detox treatment so you or your loved one can safely recover from opioid addiction as a whole.