President Trump outlines opioid initiative

This week, President Trump announced an initiative to help fight the opioid epidemic. The overall strategy includes several key prevention and treatment initiatives, along with somewhat controversial provisions related to potentially utilizing the death penalty for convicted drug dealers.

Congress has pledged to consider a package of legislative proposals to implement the White House policies by Memorial Day. The president’s plan includes education to stop the flow of illegal drugs and focuses on treatment and recovery support.

A summary of the proposal includes:

  • Work to ensure first responders are supplied with naloxone, a lifesaving medication used to reverse overdoses.
  • Leverage federal funding opportunities to state and local jurisdictions to incentivize and improve nationwide overdose tracking systems that will help resources to be rapidly deployed to hard-hit areas.
  • Expand access to evidence-based addiction treatment in every state, particularly Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for opioid addiction.
  • Seek legislative changes to the law prohibiting Medicaid from reimbursing residential treatment at certain facilities with more than 16 beds.

Starting today, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold two days of hearings on more than 20 opioid policy bills. The American Hospital Association (AHA) recently submitted policy recommendations to the committee for their consideration. Click here to read AHA’s recommendations.