Center on Addiction Applauds Congress for Passing Opioid Legislation; Calls for Long-Term Investment to Prevent Future Epidemics | Center on Addiction

Center on Addiction Applauds Congress for Passing Opioid Legislation; Calls for Long-Term Investment to Prevent Future Epidemics

Center on Addiction Applauds Congress for Passing Opioid Legislation; Calls for Long-Term Investment to Prevent Future Epidemics

New York, N.Y., October 24, 2018

Center on Addiction commends Congress for working together to develop and pass critical opioid legislation that adopts many evidence-based strategies and promotes a public health approach. Embracing comprehensive policies that treat addiction as a disease will save countless lives and, we hope, set the tone for future measures.

While this legislation makes some important changes to federal law by helping increase access to medications for opioid addiction and residential treatment for Medicaid beneficiaries, it does not provide the resources necessary to build the treatment infrastructure this country desperately needs to effectively treat the millions of Americans suffering from addiction. It also fails to adequately address the need for wide-scale prevention measures that will protect our nation’s children.

“When more than 70,000 people a year – nearly 200 a day – are dying from drug overdose, it’s a catastrophe, and it must be treated as such,” said Creighton Drury, President at Center on Addiction. “The federal investment is nowhere near the scale that is needed to stop this.”

To avoid future addiction epidemics, evidence-based prevention programs for youth are key – but they are widely underutilized and underfunded. We encourage lawmakers to emphasize prevention as they craft future legislation.

In addition, policymakers should consider the fact that our current addiction epidemic is not restricted to opioids. We were disappointed to see that much of the legislation focused solely on opioids, when it is clear that we are facing a concerning rise in cocaine and methamphetamine use. Unless we address addiction more broadly, we will continue to play catch-up by simply responding to the latest drug trends rather than proactively addressing the issues that precipitate these epidemics.

“This legislation edges us closer to treating addiction as the devastating disease it is, but it neglects to provide the long-term investment we’ve seen in responses to other major public health crises,” said Lindsey Vuolo, Associate Director of Health Law and Policy at Center on Addiction. “We won’t be able to make meaningful progress against the tide of addiction unless we make significant changes to incorporate addiction treatment into the existing health care system.”

About Center on Addiction
Center on Addiction is a science-based nonprofit focused on improving the understanding, prevention and treatment of addiction. Founded in 1992 by former U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare Joseph A. Califano, Jr., our purpose is to find, promote and enact the necessary solutions to address America’s deadly addiction crisis. For more information, visit www.centeronaddiction.org.

Media Contact
Catherine Tayloe Ross
Media Specialist
Center on Addiction
Email: [email protected]

 

Media

Director of Digital Communications

(212) 841.5225

Media

Media Specialist

(212) 841.5293 ​
[email protected]

Media

Communications and Digital Associate

(212) 841.5206 

Newsletter Additional Information

Newsletter Additional Information

Thank you for subscribing

This information will be used to better customize your experience and help inform future tools and features on our website.

Additional Information
WHICH ISSUES INTEREST YOU?
What brought you to our website?