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States fail to utilize funds amid worsening opioid crisis

In 2016, over 63,600 deaths due to drug overdose left federal authorities aghast in the United States. The fact that most of these fatalities were linked to opioids intensified the concern. In order to tame the menace, the authorities have taken several measures such as limiting the writing of prescriptions, keeping a tab on the opioid sales, increasing the treatment facilities, and allocating huge funds to states for recovery programs.

According to a recent media report, in 2017, the federal government had allocated $500 million to various states as opioid relief funds. However, states left nearly $400 million unused by the end of December 2017. The Congress allocated funds to each state to help them build proper support and fighting mechanism against the opioid crisis that claims nearly 115 lives every day. The funds are aimed at providing easy and affordable access to health care facilities and more treatment options to people who are battling opioid addiction.

States facing problems in using funds

The fund that was allotted to the states is a part of $1 billion commitment over two years authorized in the 21st Century Cures Act. The commitment was signed by the then President Barack Obama. As a result, the funds have an expiry date of two years. This has become one of the prime reasons for not disbursing them.

According to state officials, the expiry period of the funds is making it hard for them to commit serious investments in addiction treatment, and persuade health care providers to participate in programs. Also, they are facing a problem in hiring the workforce in the absence of sustainability of the programs. Therefore, it is important for the government to consider the issue as a serious roadblock and work for a long-term financial commitment.

Secondly, some of the states do not have sufficient procedure in place to assign state contract. For example, in New Hampshire, every contract that exceeds the funding of $25,000 must have an approval from a five-member council. This makes allocating fund a tedious process. Besides, the federal funding aimed at boosting limited types of programs rather than paying for the aggressive and extensive treatment required by the people who are suffering from opioid addiction.

Road to recovery

In the wake of a rampant surge in the number of people addicted to opioid drugs, federal authorities are working hard to curb the menace. However, lack of proper policies and adequate treatment facilities, the efforts are going for a toss. In such a condition, it becomes important for every individual to take the onus and contribute by avoiding any misuse or abuse of drugs and seeking immediate medical help if experiencing any symptoms. Opioid addiction is a treatable disorder. It can be treated with medications, therapies or a combination of both, depending on the severity, and duration of the condition.

Essentially, under no circumstances should one attempt to self-medicate with alcohol or other illicit drugs to deal with opioid use disorder, as such a measure can aggravate the condition. Also, practices like cold turkey should be strictly avoided as it can lead to painful withdrawal symptoms, which can also be fatal at times. If you or your loved one is struggling with an opioid addiction, seek help from the Florida Drug Addiction Helpline. You can call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-982-2401 or chat online with our expert to know about the best drug rehab center in Florida. Our certified representatives can also help you to connect with a reputed drug rehab in Florida.