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Supporting HHS In The Fight Against Opioids

posted by Alicia Caramenico

on April 25, 2017

At HHS, we’re ready to fight alongside … the millions of Americans who are trying to find recovery or help their loved ones do so. … The Trump Administration is committed to bringing everything the federal government has to bear on this health emergency.

HHS Secretary Tom Price, April 19, 2017

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will make available $485 million in grants for evidence-based prevention and treatment efforts to fight opioid abuse and addiction, HHS Secretary Tom Price said earlier this month at the National Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit in Atlanta.

“Our goal, in all that we do, should be to promote healthy, evidence-based ways of managing pain and to help providers and patients make responsible choices,” Price said in prepared remarks.

He shared five strategies that for HHS to promote the safe use of opioids and limit the risk of addiction:

  • Improving access to treatment and recovery services
  • Promoting use of overdose-reversing drugs
  • Strengthening our understanding of the epidemic through better public health surveillance
  • Providing support for cutting edge research on pain and addiction
  • Advancing better practices for pain management

He also shared some sobering statistics

  • 52,000 people died of overdoses in America in 2015, the majority from opioids
  • More than 140 American lives are lost to overdoses each day
  • 90 percent of Americans struggling with addiction are not currently getting treatment

AHIP and its health plans commend HHS for its commitment to combating opioid addiction and join many stakeholders across the health system in making it a top priority to put an end to the opioid crisis and provide better care for patients with chronic pain.

Here’s how health plans are addressing opioid abuse and addiction.