COMMENTARY

Obama Administration

Tells Congress It Takes Cash To Care

Photo Credit: President Obama.
Photo Credit: President Obama.

President Obama has appealed to Congress to pass $1.1 billion in new funding to make sure that every American with an opioid use disorder who wants treatment can get it.

The President call came on the back of the House of Representatives vote on legislation highlighting the national prescription opioid and heroin epidemic.

The Obama administration noted that while the legislation was an important first step, funding was critical to deal with the current crisis.

Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Michael Botticelli said, “I have spoken with hundreds of parents and family members across the country who have lost loved ones to overdose. Too many of them shared similar stories about long waits for treatment or a lack of good treatment options in their communities.”

Botticelli noted that the President’s Budget would go a far way to support the placement of treatment providers in the communities most in need and would continue to develop effective treatment programs.

He further noted that this would build on the Administration efforts to expand evidence-based prevention strategies, increase access to the overdose-reversal drug naloxone, improve prescribing practices for pain medication, and support targeted enforcement activities.

He underscored the point that this disease has taken on a toll on American families as lives are lost as a result of the disease.

“Every day that passes without Congressional action on funding to support the treatment needs of those suffering from opioid use disorders is a missed opportunity to save lives,” Botticelli argued.

He further argued that it needed not be that way if Congress provides the resources to ensure that every American who wants treatment can get it and start the road to recovery.

He also posited that millions of Americans are in recovery from opioid and other substance use disorders because they got needed help.

Yvad Billings, Readers Bureau, Fellow

Edited by Jesus Chan

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