President Barack Obama, announced new initiatives to address the opioid and heroin crisis March 29, 2016, at the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit, the largest national collaboration of professionals from local, state and federal agencies, business, academia clinicians, treatment providers, counselors, educators, state and national leaders, and advocates impacted by prescription drug abuse and heroin use.
“The opioids crisis is waking America up to the pervasive danger of addiction,” said Nick Motu, vice president of the Hazelden Betty Ford Institute for Recovery Advocacy, part of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, the nation's largest nonprofit treatment provider. “It’s good that our policymakers are hearing this alarm as well.”
Obama outlined bipartisan strategies to increase access to a key drug for medication-assisted treatment, prevent opioid overdose deaths and address the substance use disorder parity in Medicaid.
“Many of these proposals mirror the policy priorities we outlined at the Hazelden Betty Ford Institute for Recovery Advocacy and represent strong steps forward,” Motu said.
Also at the summit, 60 medical schools announced they will start requiring medical students to take some form of prescriber education.
“We’d eventually like all 164 medical schools to include in their core curriculum training on opioid prescribing and addiction more generally,” Motu said. “All doctors, nurses, dentists and other providers need to understand addiction so they can help their patients.”