Article by Dr. Peter Kaufman, Chief Medical Officer for DrFirst
January 20, 2017
In December 2016, President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act, which included $1 billion in new funding to fight the opioid epidemic.
The Cures Act allocation is the latest government effort to address the country’s pressing issue of opioid misuse, which, according to the CDC, killed more than 41 people a day in 2015. The Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research (AHQR) recently reported that opioid-related death rates have increased by 200 percent between the years 2000 and 2014.
The financial impact of opioid abuse is also substantial, with opioid poisonings accounting for over $20 billion a year in emergency department and hospital care, per the AHQR. The Cures Act aims to reverse this trend by expanding community-based prevention efforts and access to treatment, providing support to individuals in recovery and increasing drug enforcement efforts.