Federal Funding to Combat Opioid Crisis

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June 13, 2018
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June 19, 2018

Drugs such a Vicodin and OxyContin and illicit drugs such as heroin and fentanyl are causing deep problems across the country, putting undue stress on hospitals, police departments and fire departments that attempt to pick up the pieces after their respective communities are folded into this national crisis.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama reports that 26 percent of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama’s commercially insured members filled at least one opioid prescription in 2015, compared to 21 percent nationally. And, 16.4 per 1,000 members were diagnosed with opioid use disorder in Alabama in 2016, double the national average of 8.3 per 1,000.

$1 billion of the congressional appropriation will be distributed to states’ coffers–larger shares will go to those states that have the highest overdose mortality rates. However, every state will receive at least $4 million.

The plan also includes $500 million for opioid-related research and hundreds of millions more to expand treatment availability, as well as money for law enforcement and equipment to help identify and intercept opioids before they reach the streets.

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