Obama to highlight opioid addiction in Atlanta next week

Obama to highlight opioid addiction in Atlanta next week

By Ellen Ratner   

WASHINGTON (Talk Media News) – President Barack Obama will appear in Atlanta next Tuesday to highlight the ongoing crisis surrounding the abuse of prescription drugs.

Previewing the President’s remarks, which will take place at the The National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit, Dr. Tom Frieden, the Director for the Center for Disease Control (CDC), told reporters this week on a conference call that prescription drug abuse is a clear public health issue.

Frieden said 40 Americans a day die from prescription overdose, a phenomenon that is occurring alongside an increase in heroin and other illicit drug use.

The CDC has issued guidelines for pain medication usage in response to both a four-fold increase in prescription and a four-fold increase in deaths.

Rapid response is needed when there is an increase in illicit or provider usage, Frieden said, noting there are parts of the country that do not have treatment programs.

Michael Botticelli, the director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, or drug czar, noted that funding at the state level is crucial to the national strategy.

Opioid prescription education for prescribers would be one target of this education since it has been completed by many, but not all states, in that regard.

Primary care providers are half of all opioid prescriptions.

As a result, there is quite a bit of  “doctor shopping ” behaviors, according to Botticelli, but eight states require prescribers to consult registries before prescribing.

The announcement comes amid the 6th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act and Botticelli explained that substance abuse services are comparable to other medical services.

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