Overdose Deaths Plummet in States Hit Hardest by Drug Crisis (Videos)

The new website, FindTreatment.gov, launched by the Trump Administration is designed to help locate the best treatment options tailored to each person’s particular situation and needs. (Courtesy of FindTreatment.com)

For the nearly 20 million Americans battling substance abuse today, the Trump Administration just launched a new website, FindTreatment.gov, designed to help locate the best treatment options tailored to each person’s particular situation and needs.

Despite its importance, finding the best treatment option for those who need it most hasn’t always been easy.

America’s opioid epidemic is one of the signature issues President Donald J. Trump identified for his Administration to tackle from day one.

Before he took office, nearly 64,000 Americans had died from a drug overdose in 2016 alone.

Opioid overdoses accounted for more than 42,000 of those deaths—more than any previous year on record.

Today, that crisis shows signs of fading. The United States saw a 5.1% decline in overdose deaths in 2018, including 24% and 17% drops respectively in the hard-hit states of Ohio and Kentucky.

Today’s launch will aim to improve those figures even more.

“We designed it with human-centered principles in mind,” said White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway said.

“We used real words for real people.”

“Overdose deaths drop sharply in States hard hit by opioid crisis.”

Help is available: Visit FindTreatment.gov or share it with a loved one today.

Courtesy of The White House, originally posted at https://www.whitehouse.gov/1600daily/.

(When President Trump took office, the opioid crisis was devastating communities across America. Nearly 64,000 Americans died from a drug overdose in 2016 alone. Opioid overdoses accounted for more than 42,000 of these deaths, more than any previous year on record. In October 2017, President Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency. Ever since, the Trump Administration has applied an all-of-Government approach to the epidemic, taking an extraordinary range of actions that reflect the President’s commitment to stopping the crisis in its tracks. Courtesy of The White House and YouTube. Posted on Mar 12, 2019.)

The Full Cost of the Opioid Crisis: $2.5 Trillion Over Four Years

October 26 marked the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEAs) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Initiative, which has been nominated in the 2019 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program, provided Americans an opportunity to prevent drug misuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

National Take Back Day

One of the most tangible examples of the dangers of misusing prescription drugs comes from the opioid crisis, which the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) estimates cost $696 billion in 2018—or 3.4 percent of GDP—and more than $2.5 trillion for the four-year period from 2015 to 2018.

As displayed in Figure 1, monthly opioid-involved overdose deaths stopped their steep upward nationwide growth starting in January 2017.

These massive costs point to the nationwide economic destruction from America’s very human “crisis next door.”

In 2017, CEA published a report that measured the full cost of the opioid crisis by considering the value of lost lives, as well as increases in healthcare and substance abuse treatment costs, increases in criminal justice costs, and reductions in productivity.

The updated estimates for 2018 were calculated using a similar methodology as the 2017 report.

CEA’s cost estimates are more than three times higher than the findings from a recent Society of Actuaries study, because CEA accounts for the value of a statistical life (VSL).

VSLs are commonly used by regulators for benefit-cost analyses and regulatory impact analyses.

CEA prefers this comprehensive measure because the opioid crisis not only increases costs and lowers productivity throughout the economy, it also prematurely ends lives, which have value beyond their effect on economic output.

Overdose deaths involving opioids are coming down during the Trump Administration, reversing the upward trend that has persisted since at least 1999.

Compared to the previous trend for monthly opioid-related overdose deaths, CEA estimates that almost 30,000 lives were saved from January 2017 through March 2019 (the latest available provisional data).

Had this trend continued its upward trajectory, CEA estimates that the cost of the opioid crisis would have been $326 billion higher between January 2017 and March 2019.

Just as the start and growth of the opioid crisis had many causes, ending the crisis requires many solutions.

Increased funding for treatment, enhanced education about the dangers of opioids, and improved security to stop the flow of illicit drugs are all necessary tools to fight the crisis.

Thankfully, last year Congress passed and President Trump signed the SUPPORT Act, which is the largest legislative package addressing a single drug crisis in U.S. history.

(President Donald Trump speaks on progress in battling the opioid epidemic. Courtesy of The White House and YouTube. Posted on Mar 20, 2018.) 

In fiscal years 2018 and 2019, $6 billion in new funding was secured to fight opioid abuse, including to expand access to medication-assisted treatment.

According to estimates from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), from 2016 to 2019, the number of Americans receiving medication-assisted treatment rose 38 percent, from approximately 921,000 to 1.27 million.

Aided by better education for healthcare providers and patients, there has been a nearly one-third decline in the total amount of opioids prescribed since President Trump took office through June 2019, according to HHS estimates.

Importantly, nearly 60 percent fewer young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 began using heroin in 2018 than in 2016.

Another necessary component to solving the opioid crisis is securing the border to limit deadly drugs from flowing into the United States.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), who was honored in the 2018 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program, report nationwide seizures of fentanyl are up 265 percent over the last three fiscal years.

The U.S. Border Patrol, the mobile, uniformed law enforcement arm of U.S. Customs and Border Protection within the Department of Homeland Security responsible for securing U.S. borders between ports of entry, has been selected as a Finalist in the 2019 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program.

And CBP seized enough fentanyl in fiscal year 2019 to support 10,000 fentanyl users for more than 200 years, based on typical usage.

(U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials have made their biggest ever fentanyl bust (main), seizing a quantity large enough to kill 100million people. CBP officials said they captured nearly 254 pounds (114kg) of the deadly synthetic opioid from a secret compartment inside a truck carrying a load of Mexican produce heading into US at the Nogales border crossing in Arizona (inset). The drugs, with a street value of about $3.5million, were found on Saturday morning, hidden in a compartment under the rear floor of a tractor-trailer. Courtesy of the Daily Mail and YouTube. Posted on Feb 1, 2019.)

In a promising sign that these coordinated efforts are working, as of March 2019, preliminary data show year-over-year drug overdose deaths in Pennsylvania and Ohio—two of the states hit hardest by the crisis—were down from their peak levels by more than 23 percent.

Even with the decrease in opioid-related deaths under President Trump, the $696 billion cost in 2018 shows that this crisis is far from over.

To help the public and policymakers understand the economic causes and costs of the opioid crisis, CEA will continue publishing reports on this critically important policy priority.

(For further reading about the economic causes of the opioid crisis, see CEA’s 2019 report The Role of Opioid Prices in the Evolving Opioid Crisis.)

(For more information on calculating VSL, see Section 2 of CEA’s 2017 report.)

Courtesy of The White House, originally posted at https://www.whitehouse.gov/1600daily/ and https://www.whitehouse.gov/articles/full-cost-opioid-crisis-2-5-trillion-four-years/

DEA & US Border Patrol Selected as a Finalist in 2019 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program

Winners to be Announced at the ‘ASTORS’ Awards Luncheon at ISC East – Register Today

Time is running out to Register for the ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Luncheon on November 20th, in New York City and give yourself & your clients a break from the show!

AST's keynote speaker at the 2019 'ASTORS' Awards Luncheon will be William J. Bratton, former police commissioner of the New York Police Department (NYPD), the Boston Police Department (BPD), former chief of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), and Executive Chairman, Teneo Risk.
AST’s keynote speaker at the 2019 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Luncheon will be William J. Bratton, former police commissioner of the New York Police Department (NYPD), the Boston Police Department (BPD), former chief of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), and Executive Chairman, Teneo Risk.

The Annual ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program is specifically designed to honor distinguished government and vendor solutions that deliver enhanced value, benefit and intelligence to end users in a variety of government, homeland security and public safety vertical markets.

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Two Global Leaders – One Combined Conference and Exhibition

Infosecurity ISACA Featuring Keynotes by Theresa Payton and Jamie Bartlett
Infosecurity ISACA Featuring Keynotes by Theresa Payton and Jamie Bartlett

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2018 'ASTORS' Homeland Security Awards Presentation Luncheon
2018 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Presentation Luncheon

The 2018 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program drew an overwhelming response from industry leaders with a record high number of corporate and government nominations received, as well as record breaking ‘ASTORS’ Presentation Luncheon Attendees, with top firms trying to register for the exclusive high – end luncheon and networking opportunity – right up to the event kickoff on Wednesday afternoon, at the ISC East registration!

2018 'ASTORS' Homeland Security Awards Luncheon at ISC East
2018 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Luncheon at ISC East

Over 130 distinguished guests representing National, State and Local Governments, and Industry Leading Corporate Firms, gathered from across North America, Europe and the Middle East to be honored among their peers in Physical and Cyber Security Fields including:

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