Combating the Opioid Epidemic: A Policy Proposal for Treatment and Prevention
There is a Public Health emergency in the United States due to the continued use and abuse of opioids. This issue been exaggerated due to the negative perceptions associated with substance abuse and the lack of medication assisted treatment for individuals. The opioid epidemic affects not only individuals and their family, but the healthcare system, the criminal justice system, and the country’s economy as a whole. It is an issue that has permeated different levels of society. Thus why policy action is encouraged in order to mandate states to use a portion of their Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant and a portion of their Mental Health Services block grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to combat the opioid epidemic. This paper investigates the policy and political implications of this proposal. In terms of policy, this proposal is cost-effective as the money spent on developing and implementing it is less than the money lost due to opioid addiction. It has the ability to treat the current stock of opioid users while also implementing protocols that would limit future generations from accessing opioids. Politically speaking, it has the potential to bring both parties together since curbing the epidemic is a bipartisan effort. In conclusion, this proposal is cost-efficient and bipartisan supported in attempting to control the opioid epidemic.