According to an announcement made yesterday, the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has launched a new program called Prescription Drug Overdose: Prevention for States.
The program has been designed for helping states to bring an end to the unremitting prescription drug overdose epidemic and is a part of the Opioid Initiative launched by the US Department of Health & Human Services. Through this program, the CDC will be investing hefty amounts in 16 states and provide them with the expertise and resources they would require for preventing overdose deaths due to prescription opioids.
According to information offered by the CDC, the program will build upon the organization’s Injury Prevention and Prevention Boost & Core Violence programs. Using a really competitive application procedure, CDC has picked a total of 16 states each of which will receive funds through its Prescription Drug Overdose: Prevention for States program.
The names of the beneficiary states are: California, Arizona, Illinois, Nebraska, Kentucky, North Carolina, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Utah, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Vermont.
According to Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell, having a multifaceted approach is extremely important for fighting the prescription drug overdose epidemic. She feels that states would play an extremely vital role in making CDC’s efforts for preventing overdose deaths successful.
Burwell added that the funding offered by the CDC will allow states to improve their ability of tracking the problem, working along with insurers for assisting providers in making informed decisions when prescribing a particular medication and taking proper actions for combating the epidemic.
For the financial year 2015, CDC will be paying the 16 states a sum of $20 million. For the next four years, the organization has planned to give these states an amount between $750,000 and $1 million as annual awards.
The states will get the funds to:
- Improve the PDMPs (prescription drug monitoring programs).
- Educate both providers and patients about risks associated with prescription drug overdose.
- Prevent prescription drug overdose in communities nationwide.
- Work with professional providers, insurers, and health systems for helping them in making informed decisions regarding prescription painkillers.
- Respond to all emerging and new drug overdose issues by means of innovative projects, which may include the development of fresh communication campaigns and surveillance systems.
The CDC will also allow states to use the funds for:
- Understanding and responding to the rise in the number of deaths caused by heroin overdose in a better way.
- Investigating the links between heroin use and prescription opioid abuse.