Biden administrator to release new overdose prevention strategy to tackle evolving ‘public health crisis’ | Breaking News Updates

Biden administrator to release new overdose prevention strategy to tackle evolving ‘public health crisis’

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Biden administration releases comprehensive overdose prevention strategy focused on primary prevention, harm reduction, evidence-based treatment and recovery support to tackle what authorities are calling a “public health crisis” in evolution.

Health and Social Services Secretary Xavier Becerra is expected to detail on Wednesday the administration’s efforts to improve access to care and services for people with substance use disorders and their families. Unlike previous strategies that focused only on opioids, officials say this strategy focuses on “the multiple substances responsible for overdoses and the various treatment approaches needed to address them.”

Officials said the overdose crisis was due not only to synthetic opioids and illicitly manufactured fentanyl, but also to psychostimulants, such as methamphetamine.

“Too many families have lost loved ones to drug overdoses. We are facing a public health crisis that requires a comprehensive approach to prevent and reduce incidents of overdose,” Becerra said, adding that the administration Biden “is committed to preventing overdose deaths in every way.” possible and to do so in a compassionate and inclusive manner.

The strategy, officials say, recognizes that tackling the overdose crisis requires a “multidimensional and integrated approach, spanning public health, health care, social services and many other sectors.”

Officials say the new strategy “reflects the Biden-Harris administration’s principles of fairness to underserved populations, stigma reduction and evidence-based policy.”

The strategy, according to the HHS, “recognizes that the full continuum of integrated care and services is necessary to help people prevent, treat and recover from substance use disorders, and underscores the Department’s commitment to help historically underserved populations “.

Meanwhile, the strategy “also innovates,” the HHS said, providing “coordinated federal support” to arenas of harm reduction and recovery support, which in the past have been bolstered by local efforts.

As part of the new strategy, the HHS is expected to begin funding needle exchange programs and fentanyl test strips, which would show a drug user whether the substance contains fentanyl. Officials said some federal grants would be used to purchase fentanyl test strips, which they say can be used to encourage users to take extra precautions while using drugs.

An HHS official told Fox News that despite negative perceptions about fentanyl test strips, research has shown that drug users provided with test strips have reported that “receiving a positive test result was significantly associated with a positive change in overdose risk behavior (such as using more slowly, using less, throwing the lot away, or using it with someone else). ”The official said,“ the overwhelming evidence support the safety and ease “of using fentanyl test strips in communities and in outpatient and inpatient treatment settings.

The new strategy, the official said, recognizes that stopping drug use is a “journey” for many, saying it “clearly shows that the administration is committed to meeting people where they are” .

“This is not a war on drugs,” the official said. “It tries to help people get through this and, with compassion, recognizes the huge number of people in underserved populations who have not been able to access services.”

Meanwhile, commenting on the new strategy, U.S. Surgeon General’s Vice Admiral Vivek Murthy said the United States has “treated addiction as a moral failure – an approach that has left people without sufficient support, has led to a tragically high number of overdoses and has hurt families, friendships, and entire communities. ”

“The new overdose prevention strategy is an important step towards resolving the overdose crisis and investing in a system that approaches drug addiction not as a character defect, but as a chronic disease that must be treated competently. , compassion and urgency, ”said Murthy.

As part of the US bailout, more than $ 2 billion has been earmarked for the HHS’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to expand access to “vital services” which support the implementation of the new strategy.


President Biden’s proposed FY2022 budget for HHS on drug-related programs and initiatives, HHS says, is $ 11.2 billion agency-wide – 3.9 billion dollars more than in 2021, and includes funding to expand access to substance use prevention, treatment, harm reduction. , and recovery assistance services. The proposed budget also provides funding to strengthen the national behavioral health infrastructure. Notably, SAMHSA’s budget request for fiscal year 2022 includes $ 3.5 billion for the block grant for drug prevention and treatment.

Biden’s proposed budget request also included, for the first time, a “10% set aside for recovery assistance services.” At HRSA, $ 1.1 billion in mandatory and discretionary funding is requested in FY2022 to support responses to substance use disorders in community health centers, invest in the National Health Service Corps, developing the behavioral workforce and expanding the response to substance use disorders in rural America.

Breaking News Updates News Today Biden administrator to release new overdose prevention strategy to tackle evolving ‘public health crisis’

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