The Opioid Epidemic


Substance use disorder is a disease, and should be treated as such.


  • Expand Treatment and Care

  • Healthcare Solutions

  • Prevention and Education



 

Triage: Treatment and Care


We can’t arrest ourselves out of this problem.

- Senator Angus King


  • Decriminalize Substance Use Disorder and Erase the Stigma.

    • Repeal the Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Laws put in place by the 1986 Anti-Drug Abuse Act.

      • Federal Savings could be $7 BILLION (current annual costs associated with criminal justice processing and incarceration)

  • Expand Drug Courts Nationwide

  • Increase the number of treatment facilities and ensure affordable access to ALL.

    • only 1/3 of Mainers seeking treatment were able to access treatment facility. 25,000 Mainers were left without any options for treatment or assistance in recovery.

  • Federal Funding should be directed immediately to the States most effected by the Opioid Crisis.

    • Federal Funding must be used by State toward directly addressing the opioid crisis.

  • Provide Hospitals, First Responders, Pharmacies and Families with sufficient supplies of Naloxone/Narcan.

    • Lower the purchasing age of Naloxone/Narcan to 18 year of age.

  • Create National set of quality standards and metrics that must be met by treatment centers (in-patient, out-patient and sober living facilities)

    • (lack of oversight and an absense of clearly defined parameters has allowed for rampant exploitation of individuals and families at their most vulnerable)


 

Health/Healthcare Solutions

  • Provide Americans with Accessible, Affordable Healthcare so Mainers can seek medical care.

  • Encourage Alternative first line treatments for Chronic Pain and Musculoskeletal Related Pain.

    • 75% of Heroin Users started with misusing prescription medication

    • Limit initial prescriptions (5-7 Days of medication)

  • Repeal the Physician Referral Mandate and Open Patients’ Access to Physical Therapists.

    • US Military Hospitals and Clinics offer direct access to Physical Therapists.

    • The CDC already recommends physical therapy as a treatment for Chronic Pain.

    • Physical Therapists are extremely knowledgeable about musculoskeletal related issues.

  • Guarantee Access to Affordable Mental Health

    • Take Specific Measures to Increase Availability of Mental Health Practitioners in Rural Areas

      • Individuals suffering from Substance Use Disorder commonly have a mental-health related diagnosis, which if addressed before the substance use/abuse begins could be used as a preventative measure.

  • Legalize Marijuana at the Federal Level

 

Education and Oversight



Education and Medical Practitioners


Congress must take measures to ensure that Medical Schools in the United States are producing Doctors, Surgeons and Medical Practitioners who

  • Understand Substance Use Disorder

  • Understand Pain Disorders

  • Can identify and address patients suffering with Substance Use Disorder

  • Have a an understanding of Musculoskeletal Issues

    • 20% of all Medical Visits are musculoskeletal related, but less than 50% of Medical Schools require musculoskeletal coursework. (even fewer require musculoskeletal clerkship)

  • Provide Preventative Education beginning in Elementary School and Continuing through Highschool.

  • Ensure Elementary and Secondary Schools have access to a designated mental health professional.

    • For Rural Areas it could be a shared resource by region or district.

PAtient and Family Education

  • Immediately Repeal the “Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act” of 2016

    • The Act Crippled the DEA’s power to oversee and prosecute

  • Create Legislation limiting Pharmaceutical advertisements and promotions.

    • Taking a similar approach to the Federal Government’s handling of the tabacco industry.