The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched a program aimed at helping states combat and prevent opioid drug overdoses.
The Prescription Drug Overdose: Prevention for States program will be launching in 16 states chosen in a competitive application process. The CDC is committing $20 million in fiscal year 2015, and each state will receive $750,000 to $1 million each year for the next 4 years to advance prevention in several areas, such as enhancing prescription drug–monitoring programs, putting prevention into action in communities nationwide, and investigating the connection between prescription opioid abuse and heroin use, the CDC said in a press release.
In 2013, 16,000 people died from prescription opioid overdoses, four times more than in 1999, with prescription of opioids increasing at the same rate over the same time. Despite more opioids being prescribed, the amount of pain Americans report has not changed. In addition, heroin deaths also have spiked, with the 8,000 heroin overdose deaths nearly three times as many as in 2010.
“The prescription drug overdose epidemic requires a multifaceted approach, and states are key partners in our efforts on the front lines to prevent overdose deaths. With this funding, states can improve their ability to track the problem, work with insurers to help providers make informed prescribing decisions, and take action to combat this epidemic,” U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell said in the release.
Find the full CDC press release here.