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Friday, October 23, 2015

The President Speaks On Opioid Addiction

obama
This week, President Barack Obama traveled to West Virginia, a state that has long struggled with opioid addiction. The President announced plans to address the opioid epidemic that has been plaguing many states across the country. The plan includes steps to curb the rise of opioid overdose deaths, The New York Times reports. Obama is mandating more training of federal doctors and requiring federal health insurance plans to treat addiction.

“More Americans now die every year from drug overdoses than they do from motor vehicle crashes,” Mr. Obama said. “The majority of those overdoses involve legal prescription drugs. I don’t have to tell you, this is a terrible toll.” 

Many states are in desperate need of expanded access to substance use disorder treatment, a number of addicts die while waiting for beds in treatment facilities, according to the article. “We’re going to have to build and fund and support more treatment centers,” he said.

The President stated that the government needs to make larger investments in the prevention and treatment of addiction. Dr. Carl R. Sullivan, the director of addiction services at the West Virginia University School of Medicine, said he left the event hopeful.

“I thought the president was incredibly personable and incredibly engaged with this problem, much more so than I envisioned,” Dr. Sullivan said. “He seemed to understand it on both a scientific, political and even personal level. I’m now hopeful this administration is going to come through with the goods and give us the tools to deal with the epidemic.”

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