Experts around the country have raised alarm bells that this growing epidemic might be reaching a tipping point, and statistics agree with them. During his campaign, Trump vowed to tackle this crucial issue head on, and his first budget blueprint takes a concrete step to help fund the fight against opioid addictions. With a large sum proposed to be earmarked to actively combat the addiction issue, as well as a proposed fund to attack the supply side of the problem, Trump could be on his way to making a dent in America’s opioid problem.
A Rapidly Growing Epidemic
Until recently, the main tactic deployed by the US to combat the problem of drug addiction and abuse has been to attack the supply. The “War on Drugs” has resulted in billions of dollars spent on law enforcement and aggressive policies that many insist have done more harm than good. Experts agree that the strategy of hurting suppliers does not deal with the issue of demand, which has increased even as spending on drug enforcement has skyrocketed.
The Obama Administration took some steps to combat the opioid epidemic, but eyes have now turned to Trump to see if he would translate his loud words into powerful actions. It seems, at least initially, that he has accepted the challenge. Although Trump’s new budget proposal has hacked and sliced millions in domestic spending, one area where there was a conspicuous increase was in an expansion of funds to combat opioid abuse and the growing public health crisis.
Trump’s “Skinny Budget” Could Be a Boon for Drug Treatment
Groups such as US Addiction centers, which operates a network of progressive and innovative rehabilitation and recovery centers across America, could greatly benefit from this boost in federal funding as they work to tackle one of the root problems of the drug epidemic. The group offers a variety of treatments to help its participants kick drug addiction permanently. Moreover, researchers also stand to see an increase in grants to help combat this problem.
Most policy experts agree that to truly make a dent in the rising number of overdose and abuse cases, the focus should be on treatment and creating medications that can help deal with the physical dependence created by addiction. This would include drugs with a proven track record such as Narcan, which can combat the instant effects of opioids for short periods, and the “wonder drug” Vivitrol, which has already been shown to help combat the effects of heroin for up to 30 days at a time. One of the areas where Trump’s $500 million expansion could help combat the epidemic would be in allowing these treatments, and others like them, to be delivered for free to those people who need them most, instead of the prohibitive prices that have become industry standards.