Rehab Middle Key As Overdose Deaths Rise
In the second half of 2019, overdose deaths soared. Public health officials had warned of a potential increase in drug overdoses, but a new epidemic called COVID-19, or a chronic opioid use disorder, had begun disrupting American life. As the overdose epidemic escalates, public health experts worry that this new condition will result in increased mental health distress, social isolation, and poor access to addiction support services and medications. However, interim reports have suggested that COVID-19 is real, and provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms that it will start disrupting American life in the third quarter of 2020.
Medicaid expands treatment options for drug overdoses
Critics have said that President Trump’s efforts to undermine Obamacare clash with his administration’s attempts to combat the opioid crisis. But a new study appears to prove that Medicaid expansion does not exacerbate the crisis; rather, it protects people from it. This study was based on county-by-county data, and found that there was an 11 percent decline in the number of people dying from heroin overdoses in states that expanded Medicaid.
The expansion of Medicaid helped fewer people die from drug overdoses, which are the leading cause of injury death in the United States. More than 70,000 people die every year from an opioid overdose. The study also examined how Medicaid expansion affected the rate of opioid overdose deaths by state and by class. In states that expanded Medicaid, the death rate from heroin and fentanyl overdoses was six percent lower. But, it found an increase in deaths from methadone.
Overdose prevention centers open in high-death areas
With overdose deaths rising and the cost of treatment skyrocketing, a government funding boost is essential to combat this crisis. President Trump’s FY 2022 budget request includes $11.2 billion in additional funding for substance abuse treatment. This amount represents a 54 percent increase over last year’s budget. The additional funding will support a broader range of services to combat the opioid epidemic, including drug addiction treatment, substance abuse prevention, and harm reduction. In addition, it will strengthen the nation’s behavioral health infrastructure.
Overdose Prevention Centers are an extension of harm reduction services. They will be located in co-located locations with syringe services. These centers come online at a critical time, as 2020 is expected to be the worst year ever for drug overdose deaths in the United States. By providing access to treatment, they can prevent the fatality of overdose victims. However, many people have expressed skepticism about this approach, and the program has been criticized by some as a way to empower drug users. Some states, like Florida rehab centers are even more aggressive.
Funding for treatment providers
The United States has faced an opioid epidemic that has caused an unprecedented number of overdose deaths. Funding for rehabilitation centers has suffered in recent years as the number of fatal overdoses has risen. In fact, since the opioid epidemic first started in the early 2000s, the number of overdose deaths has been steadily rising. In 2016, overdose deaths topped 94,000 in the U.S., according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Although there has been a decline in funding for rehab centers, overdose deaths are still a leading cause of death, according to the American Society of Addiction Medicine. Several factors are to blame. One of the most common causes is the emergence of synthetic opioids like fentanyl, which are even more powerful and deadly than natural opioids. In fact, many people relapse and end up dead despite receiving treatment.
Street-level outreach difficult during pandemic
For a number of months, the drug epidemic has made street-level outreach for rehab centers nearly impossible. The rise of the opioid epidemic has displaced many treatment programs, leaving communities in need without the services they need. However, with the availability of new medications, such as vaccines, ensuring outreach and contact tracing is now easier than ever. Several treatment organizations have teamed up to provide this type of service, including Street Level, the Native American Health Center, and Fremont High School.
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