The launch of significant policy response to our nation’s addiction epidemic can be traced back to three key factors in 2016 and 2017:
· In July 2016, the National Governors Association (NGA) released “Finding Solutions to the Prescription Opioid and Heroin Crisis: A Road Map for States.”
· In October 2017, the President of the United States directed the Department of Health and Human Services to declare the opioid crisis a “public health emergency.”
· In November 2017, the White House released “The President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and The Opioid Crisis” (Commission).
While Congress has passed 58 bills this legislative session alone, the recommendations and proposals within the Commission and the NGA report are in varying states of completion; some not yet started, as states struggle for funding, support and resources. As S.A.F.E. Project US begins to partner with communities across the nation to build “S.A.F.E. Communities,” we have taken an in-depth look at these two milestone reports to identify opportunities to shore up existing efforts. Categorized by S.A.F.E. Project’s six interdependent lines of operation: Public Awareness and Outreach, Full-Spectrum Prevention, Prescription Medicine, Law Enforcement & Medical Response, Treatment & Recovery, and Family Outreach & Support, we have cross-examined the reports’ recommendations. The statuses of the recommendations and our “S.A.F.E Take” on the progress, efficacy and/or feasibility of the recommendations, in the current state of the epidemic, are provided below.*
NGA: The Administration should develop an evidence-based national campaign to promote prevention and reduce stigma.
Commission #5: The Administration should fund and collaborate with private sector and non-profit partners to design a wide reaching, national multi-platform campaign addressing the hazards of substance use, the danger of opioids, and stigma.
|Public Service Announcements and Awareness Campaigns have mixed results. To be successful, they require also having the resources to address the problem: recovery and treatment options and support for those with substance use disorders. Communities do not have to wait for a national campaign that suits them. In fact, awareness campaigns that are more targeted can be very successful.|
June 7, 2018 roll out