The massive omnibus budget bill signed into law on March 23 includes almost $4 billion designated to fight opioid abuse. While the spending bill is huge, totaling $1.3 trillion, there is good news for healthcare and addiction treatment. This bill calls for a $3 billion increase to the National Institutes of Health, a $10 billion increase to the Department of Health and Human Services, and nearly $4 billion earmarked for fighting the opioid epidemic.
Billions Approved to Fight the Opioid Epidemic
The American Medical Association announced that the new spending bill provides for nearly $4 billion to combat this nation’s opioid epidemic. Most of the funds will go the Department of Health and Human Services agencies such as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which has been promised $1 billion for the funding of State Opioid Response Grants. Other funds that will go to HHS agencies include:
- $476.5 million to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for activities aimed at preventing drug overdoses, including $10 million for a nationwide awareness and education program.
- $100 million earmarked for a new Rural Communities Opioid Response program that will support prevention and addiction treatment in rural areas.
- $60 million in the form of state grants to develop Plans for Safe Care for infants impacted by substance abuse.
Other departments and agencies outside of HHS have also received funding to fight opioid addiction. Among these are:
- $500 million to the National Institutes of Health of opioid addiction-related research.
- $446.5 million to the Department of Justice for grant and law enforcement programs, including money for special courts and anti-heroin task forces.
- $94 million to the Food and Drug Administration to strengthen inspection services that could prevent illegal and dangerous drugs from entering the country.
- $20 million to the Department of Agriculture for distance-learning and telemedicine services to address opioid abuse in rural areas.
What Will It Cost to Fix the Opioid Crisis?
Last year, Money spoke with several addiction experts to get their opinions on what it is going to take to “fix” the opioid crisis. At that time, it was estimated that opioid addiction was costing this country anywhere from $95 to $504 billion per year in terms of lost lives, lost productivity, treatment, health care, and other costs.
Dr. Francis Collins of the NIH believes that addressing this crisis will cost this country $500 million per year in research costs alone. Currently, the country spends just $116 million annually studying opioid addiction. Among the areas that Collins would like to study are developing better medication-based treatment for opioid addiction and finding non-addictive pain medicine alternatives.
Dr. Andrew Kolodny, Co-director of Opioid Policy Research at Brandeis University, provided a different figure. Kolodny believes that it will cost this country at least $60 billion over the next decade to accomplish two things. First, he believes that the country needs to invest in prevention. Second, more funds need to go toward adequate addiction treatment, which includes medication-assisted therapy.
Where to Get Qualified Opioid Addiction Treatment
If you are struggling with an opioid use disorder, there is a lot at stake. Addiction robs its victims of many of life’s positive aspects, but more people are dying each day from opioid addiction than at any time in the past. If you are unable to stop using drugs and fear what life would be like without opioids, there is hope.
The Recovery Village offers compassionate and qualified opioid addiction treatment services that we tailor to your particular needs. We provide medical detox, medication-assisted treatment, inpatient and outpatient care, and aftercare services. Contact us now to learn more about admissions and find out who you can begin a life free from the pain of active addiction.