“At a time when the opioid epidemic is contributing to declining life expectancy in our country, we need to ensure that settlement funds are put toward transforming the way we handle addiction in this country so that a crisis of this magnitude never happens again.”
Our CEO, Creighton Drury, has been tapped to serve on the Emerging Threats Committee, which will help identify and respond to emerging drug threats across the United States.
Certain insurance plans are legally required to cover benefits for addiction treatment under the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). Our new report shows that ACA Plans sold in many states in 2017 did not comply with these requirements. The report, Uncovering Coverage Gaps II: A Review and Comparison of Addiction Benefits in ACA Plans, demonstrates the need for policymakers to better implement and enforce laws that are meant to prohibit discriminatory insurance practices and ensure patients and families are able to obtain lifesaving care that is affordable.
Earlier this week, President Trump visited New Hampshire to release his “Initiative to Stop Opioid Abuse and Reduce Drug Supply and Demand.” Here, we break down some of President Trump’s statements and dive into The Buzz archives to share our stance on whether or not his approach will help end this devastating crisis.
In a recent hearing before Congress, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb spoke about the devastating impact of the opioid epidemic and what his agency is doing to address it. While Dr. Gottlieb is not the first to note the massive scale of this crisis, he did bring up one often-overlooked component of its much-needed solution – distinguishing between an opioid addiction and a physical dependence on opioids. Although frequently conflated, differentiating between these two conditions is essential to break the stigma associated with what has proven to be the most effective form of opioid addiction treatment: medication-assisted treatment (MAT) – a treatment approach that combines the use of medications such as methadone and buprenorphine with behavioral counseling.
Our nation is in dire need of effective strategies to address the opioid epidemic. With this in mind, we published Ending the Opioid Crisis: A Practical Guide for State Policymakers. The goal of this guide is to replace misinformation and stigma with research-based facts and practical, health-based solutions in order to help state policymakers understand how they can implement a public health approach and solve this crisis.
Here, Lindsey Vuolo, JD, MPH, associate director of health law and policy at Center on Addiction, and lead author on this report shares additional thoughts about why this guide matters, what is wrong with a punitive approach and the important role states can play in ending the opioid epidemic.
President Trump indicated that he will declare the opioid epidemic a national emergency in a “major announcement” next week. While the president called the epidemic a national emergency in August, he has not yet issued a formal declaration, leaving many to wonder: if a national emergency is declared, what type of approach will the president actually take? Will the president embrace the public health approach outlined in the Surgeon General’s report or revert to a “war on drugs” strategy? Unfortunately, signals from the president’s administration have been conflicting.
For now, the Senate Republican’s health care bill – the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) – is defeated. To many Americans, the idea of cutting their health benefits was too much, no matter the rosy picture presented by President Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and others supporting the bill.
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