Check out our poster, "Prescription Drug Abuse, An American Epidemic" to learn how our nation can reduce its negative health impacts. Photo by APHA

Check out our poster, “Prescription Drug Abuse, An American Epidemic” to learn how our nation can reduce its negative health impacts. Photo by APHA

Forty people die in the U.S. every day because of overdosing on narcotic prescription medications. Yesterday, President Barack Obama proposed $1.1 billion in new mandatory funding to combat prescription opioid and heroin use.

A White House fact sheet laid out a “two-pronged” approach to reversing the epidemic, which killed nearly 30,000 people in 2014, with funding aimed at supporting people with opioid use disorders and expanding prevention. One strategy includes improving access to the drug naloxone — which according to APHA’s 2013 policy statement, “Reducing Opioid Overdose through Education and Naloxone Distribution,” reverses the effects of an opioid overdose and rapidly restores breathing to a normal rate.

The additional funding also includes:

  • 50 million to support an additional 700 providers to provide substance use treatment through the National Health Service Corps;
  • $30 million to evaluate the effectiveness, and improve, treatment programs; and
  • A $90 million increase to build on state-level prescription drug overdose prevention strategies supported by the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services.

Check out APHA’s page on prescription drug abuse.

 

Scroll photo by Diego Cervo, courtesy iStockphoto