CDC Funding States With New Program
The CDC, or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has just announced their launch of Prescription Drug Overdose: Prevention for States. This is a new program to help states end our country’s ongoing epidemic with prescription drug overdoses.
Part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Opioid Initiative, the Prevention for States program from the CDC will make strong investments in sixteen states. It will give them some of the resources and expertise that they absolutely need so as to help prevent deaths from prescription opioid overdoses.
This new program from the CDC will build upon the infrastructure in place from the Prevention Boost and the Core Violence and Injury Prevention programs. WIth a very competitive application process, the CDC selected sixteen states to receive funds from the program. They are:
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia M. Burwell stated, “The prescription drug overdose epidemic requires a multifaceted approach, and states are key partners in our efforts on the front lines to prevent overdose deaths.”
The Secretary continued, “With this funding, states can improve their ability to track the problem, work with insurers to help providers make informed prescribing decisions, and take action to combat this epidemic.”
In the 2015 Fiscal Year, the CDC is planning to commit $20 million to launch the program in the 16 states. Over the course of the next four years, the CDC plans on giving those states an annual award between $750,000 and $1,000,000 each year.
That award money is subject to the availability of funds and to advance prevention, including in these areas:
- Working with health systems, insurers, and professional providers to help them make informed decisions about prescribing pain medication.
- Enhancing prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs).
- Responding to new and emerging drug overdose issues through innovative projects, including developing new surveillance systems or communications campaigns.
- Putting prevention into action in communities nationwide and encouraging education of providers and patients about the risk of prescription drug overdose.
States can also use the CDC funding to:
- Better understand and respond to the increase in heroin overdose deaths.
- Investigate the connection between prescription opioid abuse and heroin use.
The President’s Budget for 2016 also has a request from Secretary Burwell to get the resources required to expand the CDC program to all 50 states. This would launch a national program that would focus upon prevention and prescription medication overdose surveillance.
According to the CDC, since 1999 deaths from overdose involving prescription painkillers have quadrupled in the United States. In 2013, more than 16,000 people died from prescription painkiller overdoses. Heroin overdoses have also increased three-fold since 2010 to over 8,000 in 2013.
The amount of pill prescribed since 1999 has more than quadrupled as well, while there hasn’t been much change in the amount of people reporting pain. “The prescription drug overdose epidemic is tragic and costly, but can be reversed,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH.
He continued, “Because we can protect people from becoming addicted to opioids, we must take fast action now, with real-time tracking programs, safer prescribing practices, and rapid response. Reversing this epidemic will require programs in all 50 states.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with prescription drugs, or other substances, please contact us. Our qualified staff is here to assist you on your road to sobriety and a life of wellness.
[Img Source: abcnews.go.com]