Obama administration takes action in opioid epidemic
WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The Obama administration is taking further action to stop the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic.
Right now it's in the hands of Congress to pass a $1-billion national program to give states money to fight the epidemic.
While we wait for the money, officials are working to expand access to treatment and make it harder to get the drugs.
If the president's plan passes, here in Michigan we'd be eligible for up to $28-million over two years to expand access to treatment.
The White House is proposing giving states funding based on the severity of the epidemic.
Michigan ranks 16th in the nation when it comes to drug deaths.
While we wait for funding to go through the Department of Health and Human Services has announced it's increasing the number of patients doctors can treat for addiction at one time.
The rule aims to increase access to medication-assisted treatment for addicts.
Veteran's Affairs and the Department of Defense are also beefing up and evaluating their drug monitoring programs to help as many people as possible.
And officials are urging doctors to find alternatives to opioids when prescribing paid meds.
So far, republican senators have blocked emergency funding for the opioid and heroin epidemic.
The bill is still in a House committee.