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October 27, 2021

Expanding Current Approaches to Solve the Opioid Crisis

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Research, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Bethesda, Maryland
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, New York State Psychiatric Institute/Columbia University, New York
JAMA Psychiatry. 2022;79(1):5-6. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2021.3136

With the preliminary report of 94 134 overdose deaths in the US for the 12 months ending on January 1, 2021, it is likely that 2020, in addition to being marred by COVID-19, was also the most deadly drug overdose year on record.1 This unacceptable human toll highlights the urgent need for new strategies to combat the opioid epidemic, particularly as overdoses increasingly involve stimulants and other substances. Building on clinical trials demonstrating the efficacy of medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD), prevailing approaches have emphasized the role of treatment.2 Those approaches remove barriers to treatment, such as expanding treatment coverage and increasing treatment availability with hub-and-spoke models. In these models, treatment seeking, even if influenced by need, predisposing, and enabling factors, is ultimately an individual act.2

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    1 Comment for this article
    More Federal money for prevention without an increase in cost
    Francis Holt, PhD |
    Changing minimum prevention requirements for Federal Block Block Grants from SAMHSA to states is an easy way to increase prevention funding. The 20% minimu was established when many people with SUD's were ineligible for insurance. The ACA and the Wellstone Domenici parity law have changed that. People's treatment can be paid for with other than Block Grant funds. How about 40-50% for prevention? No change in cost, just allocation.