president obama
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Yesterday we began the discussion of the administration’s roll out of fighting addiction. You can read  part one here in the story: President Obama Proposes $1.1 Billion To Address Prescription Opioid Abuse And Heroin Use

In December, the President signed a bipartisan budget agreement with more than $400 million in funding specifically to address the opioid epidemic, an increase of more than $100 million over the previous year. The agreement also revised a longstanding ban on using federal funds to support syringe service programs, which can help reduce the transmission of HIV and viral hepatitis by confronting one major source of the outbreaks: injection drug use, including opioids.

These actions build on efforts that began in 2010 when the President released his first National Drug Control Strategy, which emphasized the need for action to address opioid use disorders and overdose while ensuring that individuals with pain receive safe, effective treatment.  In 2011, the White House released its national Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Plan, which outlined goals for addressing prescription drug abuse and overdose.

Since then, the Administration has supported and expanded efforts to prevent drug use, pursue “smart on crime” approaches to drug enforcement, improve prescribing practices for pain medication, increase access to treatment, work to reduce overdose deaths, and support the millions of Americans in recovery.

Here are 4 ways treatment is being addressed:


  • In FY 2016, SAMHSA will support grants to 22 States to support medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders in high need communities.  The FY 2017 Budget will expand the number of States that will receive funding to 45.
  • In 2016, the Health Resources and Services Administration will award up to $100 million to Health Centers across the country to improve and expand the delivery of substance use disorder services, with a focus on medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders.
  • HHS Secretary Burwell announced that the Department will engage in rulemaking related to the prescribing of buprenorphine-containing products approved by the FDA for treatment of opioid dependence to expand access to medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders.  HHS will take a strategic approach in order to minimize diversion and ensure evidence-based treatment.
  • In conjunction with the Budget rollout, HHS also will release Medicaid guidance to States on best practices for addressing the opioid epidemic focused on Medicaid pharmacy benefit management strategies to manage and monitor prescription opioid prescribing, cover medication-assisted treatment, and increase the use of the overdose reversal drug naloxone.

Tomorrow we talk about Community Prevention and Overdose Response.

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