As policymakers evaluate recently proposed legislation to modify the Affordable Care Act, one issue may stand out for its bipartisan support. The need to address mental health and substance use disorders in any “repeal and replace” proposal is of paramount concern to many leaders on both sides of the political aisle. The reasons for that bipartisan support are painfully clear.
Every single day, over 266 Americans will die from either a drug overdose or suicide. Substance use disorders and mental illness affect 1 out of every 3 adults in this country. Untreated mental health and substance use problems can be devastating and costly – for individuals, families, communities and society as a whole. The health of our Nation depends on improving Americans’ mental health and reducing addictions.
Unlike many challenges that face our Nation, there is strong bipartisan commitment to continue strengthening mental health and substance use prevention, treatment services and medications, rehabilitation, and recovery support services. Over the past decade, Congress has enacted and Presidents have signed a series of important reforms, including the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, various provisions of the Affordable Care Act, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, and the 21st Century Cures Act. Together, these laws established a very important new framework that, for the first time in our Nation’s history, addresses mental health and substance use disorders on a par equal to physical illnesses.
Today, more Americans than ever before have access to the full continuum of life-saving care options for mental health and substance use problems. The challenge now is how to build on this progress.
Amidst all the uncertainty and rancor swirling around the healthcare debate, our Nation cannot afford to backtrack on its efforts to help many more of the 1 in 3 among us living with substance use disorders and/or mental illness. From the campaign trail, Donald Trump spoke passionately about the need to do more, saying “[i]t is tragedy enough that so many Americans are struggling with life-threatening addiction. We should not compound that tragedy with government policies and bureaucratic rules that make it even harder for them to get help.”
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Below is the 28-minute taped radio panel interview of representatives from our Logan County Coalition,(CORE) fighting drug abuse. The taped broadcast covers a broad range of information, insight, and tips to know and use in addressing our local drug crisis.
When the "Peak of Ohio" page appears, select the "Community CORE interview"
The Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities offers a new Crisis Text Line. Text 4hope to 741741 to communicate. The Crisis Tex Line is free, confidential and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Addiction Recovery and Long-Term Success Is Within Reach! You don’t have to fight addiction alone. RehabCenter.net is the web’s most comprehensive guide to quality rehab centers and addiction treatment. Visit RehabCenter.net for free and confidential information about the many effective and empowering rehab options available today.
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - A PROCLAMATION
Each year, more Americans die from drug overdoses than in traffic accidents, and more than 3 out of 5 of these deaths involve an opioid. Since 1999, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids, including prescription opioid pain relievers, heroin, and fentanyl, has nearly quadrupled. Many people who die from an overdose struggle with an opioid use disorder or other substance use disorder, and unfortunately misconceptions surrounding these disorders have contributed to harmful stigmas that prevent individuals from seeking evidence-based treatment. During Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week, we pause to remember all those we have lost to opioid use disorder, we stand with the courageous individuals in recovery, and we recognize the importance of raising awareness of this epidemic.
Opioid use disorder, or addiction to prescription opioids or heroin, is a disease that touches too many of our communities -- big and small, urban and rural -- and devastates families, all while straining the capacity of law enforcement and the health care system. States and localities across our country, in collaboration with Federal and national partners, are working together to address this issue through innovative partnerships between public safety and public health professionals. The Federal Government is bolstering efforts to expand treatment and opioid abuse prevention activities, and we are working alongside law enforcement to help get more people into treatment instead of jail.
My Administration is steadfast in its commitment to reduce overdose deaths and get more Americans the help they need. That is why I continue to call on the Congress to provide $1.1 billion to expand access to treatment services for opioid use disorder. These new investments would build on the steps we have already taken to expand overdose prevention strategies, and increase access to naloxone -- the overdose reversal drug that first responders and community members are using to save lives. We are also working to improve opioid prescribing practices and support targeted enforcement activities. Although Federal agencies will continue using all available tools to address opioid use disorder and overdose, the Congress must act quickly to help more individuals get the treatment they need -- because the longer we go without congressional action on this funding, the more opportunities we miss to save lives.
Too often, we expect people struggling with substance use disorders to self-diagnose and seek treatment. And although we have made great strides in helping more Americans access care, far too many still lack appropriate, evidence-based treatment. This week, we reaffirm our commitment to raising awareness about this disease and supporting prevention and treatment programs. Let us ensure everyone with an opioid use disorder can embark on the road to recovery, and together, let us begin to turn the tide of this epidemic.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 18 through September 24, 2016, as Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week. I call upon all Americans to observe this week with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities that raise awareness about the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixteenth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-first.