The government has determined that it probably needs to do something to stop what has been called “a prescription drug epidemic” by many health experts. The problem of prescription drug addiction has only gotten worse in recent years, with the total number of people dying as a result of opioid overdoses tripling since 2000. In fact, there were almost 29,000 opioid-related overdose deaths in the United States in 2014. Beyond that, in excess of two million people reported abusing prescription painkillers, while another 500,000 people said that they were addicted to heroin.
The calls for government action in response to the prescription drug epidemic have not gone unheard by the Obama Administration. Obama recently suggested adding more than $1 billion in funding for drug treatment programs.
Additional Funding Needed to Fight Drug Addiction
There have been some criticisms that recent legislation passed in the US House of Representatives does not go far enough to address the drug addiction problem. For instance, one House bill provides for annual federal grants of $103 million but fails to specify where that funding will come from. This means that future sessions of Congress will be left to deal with the mess of actually financing the drug treatment policies through spending legislation; otherwise, the new drug programs will have no teeth because they will lack the necessary funding.
Marvin Ventrell, the executive director of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers, made a similar point when he said that the recent congressional bills sent the right message about drug treatment but would ultimately be inadequate if they failed to properly fund the measures.
The White House issued a statement calling for legislators to provide for immediate funding and “help the thousands of Americans struggling with addiction.” However, it remains to be seen whether the US Congress will actually heed the call and offer full support for the measures to stem the rise in prescription drug addiction and overdose deaths throughout the country.
For additional information, view the Yahoo.com article, “House, Senate Hope to Craft Quick Anti-Drug Abuse Compromise.”
If you or a loved one has been arrested for illegal prescription drug possession, heroin possession, simple possession of marijuana or any other drug offense in New Jersey, the knowledgeable, experienced criminal defense attorneys at Rudnick, Addonizio, Pappa & Casazza PC can help you fight the charges and avoid the most severe penalties. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation about your case.