SAMHSA’s State Opioid Response (SOR), Tribal Opioid Response (TOR) grant programs and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)’s rural communities opioid response programs will lead the new initiative.
The government plan will expand access to the opioid mu receptor antagonist naloxone, and improve access to opioid treatment programs. It also includes provisions to reduce abuse of stimulants such as cocaine and methamphetamine that contribute to the overdose epidemic.
The government initiative will also provide funding for law enforcement in high-intensity drug trafficking areas.
Drug-involved overdose deaths have surged in recent years, according to federal statistics.
In 2020, there were almost 92,000 drug-involved overdose deaths. More than 107,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2021. For comparison, there were 52,404 in 2015.
Drugs contributing to the deaths include fentanyl and fentanyl analogs, methamphetamine, and cocaine.
Nitazenes, an extremely potent class of synthetic opioids, have also seen growing use in the U.S.
“Providing access to evidence-based, person-centered care is a central part of HHS’ strategy for ending the overdose crisis,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, in a news release. “Through these grants, we are investing in evidence-based supports and services for individuals, families and communities on the road to recovery. Through these grants, we are investing in hope.”
The White House’s budget request for fiscal year 2023 calls for further increases for National Drug Control Program agencies. In all, President Buden’s budget request allocates $42.5 billion for the agencies. The sum represents a $3.2 billion increase over the prior year.
The FDA is currently conducting a review of the use of prescription opioids.
In August, FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf announced that it had created a new overdose prevention framework.