Opioid Commission Releases Report With 56 Recommendations To Fight The Opioid Crisis
Today the Opioid Commission, chaired by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, sent a list to the White House of more than 50 recommendations to fight the opioid crisis. They said that in order mitigate the crisis, the United States needs to increase funding and prevention programs, expand federal drug courts, and reform law enforcement approaches to reduce the opioid supply.
The Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis was tasked by President Trump and has spent the last seven months listening to testimony and input from health providers, law enforcement, lawmakers, insurance companies, and personal stories from individuals and families.
The 56 methods in the final 131-page report include increasing block grants to states, improving interaction among federal programs and agencies, and expansion of the prescription drug monitoring program to include a hub for sharing data with the Department of Justice and require that providers undergo continual training for prescribing opioids.
They also said they would provide additional resources for treatments, overdose reversal drugs, rehab, and recovery. They will also assist research into alternative pain management therapies and non-opioid medications.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a record number 64,000 people died of an overdose last year, most of which were related to opioids. Meanwhile, the Department of Justice has said they are focusing on dismantling illegal drug diversion and distribution and online drug trafficking.
The report detailed the origins of the opioid crisis:
“In the mid- to late-19th century, the first national opioid crisis occurred…During this time, opioid use rose dramatically, fueled by physicians’ unrestrained opioid prescriptions….”
“In parallel with the current crisis, this nation-wide crisis extended across socio-economic statuses and reached urban and rural areas. This first epidemic was eventually contained and reversed…”
“After the first crisis subsided, medical education emphasized the hazards of improper opioid prescribing, and by doing so, created a cultural mindset against the dangers of opioids.”
“However, over 30 years ago, a sequence of events eroded fears of opioids and the medical community once again relapsed into liberal use of medicinal opioids.
~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology