The top addiction and mental health experts for President Donald Trump are warning that the Covid-19 pandemic will delay the Opioid fight. The battle has been one of the top priorities of Trump’s administration and achievement he wanted to execute in November 2019. Already, there has been a disruption of the advancement they have made tackling the opioid crisis.
By now, Federal attempts to combat the ongoing opioid epidemic have been suspended due to the government’s confusion on tackling Covid-19. Moreover, in states severely affected by the opioid crisis, there is increasing fear that coronavirus will cause a perfect outburst that overwhelms the already-extended recovery and prevention measures, which also discourages years of progress.
News About the Fight Against Opioids
Just three months ago, when the Trump administration celebrated some rare reliable news in the fight against opioids, the coronavirus health cases were in their initial phases. Opioid overdose deaths reports in 2018 indicate it decreased by four percent from the previous year. This report showed the first drop in fatal overdoses in almost three decades. Also, it contributed to the first increase in America’s life expectancy in four years.
However, this significant progress is at risk, experts say. The main reason is that social distancing regulations and fears of coronavirus obstruct traditional treatment efforts, such as peer counseling, syringe exchange programs, and medication-assisted treatment.
Addiction recovery and mental health advocates, who recently spoke with Trump, are pushing Washington for approximately $50 billion emergency funds. They state the budget is necessary to prevent the USA from relapsing on opioid progress. With no new support, difficulties that overwhelmed the opioid response efforts, lack of providers, and access to treatment will only worsen due to the coronavirus pandemic, they warn.
President Trump, who earlier in April refused the idea that the pandemic was hindering efforts to control drug abuse, stated his administration would stay focused on the problem. Also, he cautioned that the cratering economy, which he is anxious to revive, could even increase more deaths from drug suicides and overdoses.
Temporary Solutions In Effect to solve the Crisis
The coronavirus response has challenged leading health organizations to postpone some opioid control efforts. However, the National Institutes of Health has limited most researches not related to coronavirus, which Volkow said necessitated postponing crucial study into drug addiction. That involves a massive $1 billion project researching opioid substitutes and treatment possibilities that the Trump administration rolled out during the last fall season.
Also, the Trump administration has sought to remove longstanding hindrances to telehealth quickly. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency (SAMHSA)is encouraging health providers to perform therapy and counseling sessions through video chats or over the phone after federal regulators laid-back privacy regulations.
Additionally, the administration has attempted to simplify access to vital medication for people and to temporarily lift limitations and allow doctors to use remote or virtual services to prescribe medication-assisted treatment. Also, it is reducing the requirement for daily visits to methadone health centers by letting people obtain medication-assisted therapy for up to 28 days.