Stop the Addiction Fatality Epidemic
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Federal Proposals and Progress

Federal Proposals and Progress

Category 1: Outreach and Awareness

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

Commission # 49: The Office of National Drug Control Policy, federal partners, including the Department of Labor, large employers, employee assistance programs, and recovery support organizations should develop best practices on substance use disorders and the workplace.
Tool kits are starting to emerge, which are better than guidelines, as they give employers a real place to start. We look forward, however, to guidelines that elevate work accomplished at the community level, understanding that one size does not fit all in this crisis.


A Soft Start

Commission #50: The Office of National Drug Control Policy should work with the Department of Justice, the Department of Labor, the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws, the National Conference of State Legislatures, and other stakeholders to develop model state legislation/regulation for states to decouple felony convictions and eligibility for business/occupational licenses, where appropriate.
This will take time, as most legislatures are currently dealing with prescribing guidelines and treatment. However, this is an important factor in getting communities back on their feet. S.A.F.E. Project US considers this an outreach endeavor because it will only work as a destigmatizing function if businesses are on board and increase opportunities for those who are in recovery.



Read the full Commission Report:  https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/images/Final_Report_Draft_11-1-2017.pdf

Read the full NGA Report:  

* This report is intended for public information, and is not issued in collaboration with any federal, state or city governmental body.  To report updates, errors or omissions in this information, please email Contact@safeproject.us with “FEDERAL PROGRESS REPORT” in the subject line.