The President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis has released an interim report that strongly asserts that we, as a nation, are “in crisis.” The President’s commission maintains actions must be taken to stop the estimated 142 deaths in this country every day from drug overdoses. Nearly two-thirds of drug overdoses in 2015 were linked to opioids like Percocet, OxyContin, heroin, fentanyl, and counterfeit pills. The first recommendation from the Commission is for a national emergency to be declared. Other recommendations include:
- Increase treatment capacity by eliminating barriers to treatment within the Medicaid program
- Create and fund a federal incentive to enhance access to Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)
- Develop model legislation for states so naloxone can be dispensed via standing orders and to equip all law enforcement members with naloxone for their own safety
- To prevent fentanyl and counterfeit pills from getting into the country, the prioritization of funding and human resources necessary to develop fentanyl detection sensors and distribute them to federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies is essential
- Support legislation that will stop the flow of deadly synthetic opioids through the U.S. Postal Service
The Commission’s comprehensive report will be released in the Fall of 2017.