On February 2, President Obama announced a proposal to invest $1 billion of new funding in his FY 2017 budget proposal to target the epidemic of prescription opioid abuse and heroin use in America. As officials at The White House report, new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that more Americans now die each year from drug overdoses than they do from motor vehicle crashes.
CDC reports show that opioids – a class of drugs that include prescription pain medications and heroin – were related to 28,648 deaths in 2014. Additionally, between 2002 and 2013, the number of heroin-related deaths in America almost quadrupled. My Brother’s Keeper is here to brief you on the details of the proposal and why this information about the heroin epidemic is relevant to Baltimore.
Baltimore: “The Heroin Capital of The U.S.”
It should come as no surprise that Baltimore is often referenced as the “Heroin Capital” of our nation. The drug epidemic in our city is not one that we can ignore, and it is responsible for the deteriorating value of life in so many of our citizens (homeless and otherwise). Government agencies have estimated that as many as one in 10 of the city’s residents are addicted to heroin. According to a report from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the number of heroin-related deaths in Baltimore rose from 150 in 2013 to 192 in 2014. The counts for the 2015 quarterly reports are only preliminary, but indicate yet another rise.
How Will President Obama’s Drug Epidemic Budget Help?
The proposed funding, expanded over two years, aims to increase access to treatment for prescription drug abuse and heroin use. The goal is that all Americans with an opioid use disorder who need help will be able to easily seek medication-assisted treatment, successfully complete it and sustain recovery. Included in this effort is the expansion of access to substance use treatment providers. For a full breakdown of where exactly all portions of the funding will be directed and more information about the proposal, click here.
Talk to My Brother’s Keeper About Helping in Baltimore
To learn more about how to help or to find out more about our services including addiction treatment referrals, prescription assistance, hot meal programs, employment assistance, health services and identifying possible emergency shelter, call MBK today at 410-644-3194.