Senators are calling for more funding for addictions

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Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin and others urge President Joe Biden to top up federal funding for the ongoing opioid and substance use disorder (SUD) epidemic.

The Centers for Disease Control reports that there were over 81,000 deaths from drug overdose in the United States last year.

The CDC notes that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has played a role in the increase in overdose deaths.

In a letter to President Biden, Senators highlighted the surge in deaths, saying, “Despite heavy federal investment in recent years, the opioid and SUD epidemic continues to develop, devastating communities across the country, and the COVID-19 Pandemic threatens to exacerbate this crisis. We urge you to support solid additional funding to fully support the needs of providers and state, local, tribal and territorial governments in their work to prevent and treat substance use disorders during this difficult time. ”

Preliminary data released by the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner indicate that 511 overdose deaths were recorded in 2020, compared with 418 in 2019.

“Too few Americans with addictions have access to healthcare professionals who know how to prevent, diagnose, and treat addiction,” said Paul H. Earley, MD, president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. “To expand access to quality, evidence-based care, the United States must invest in addiction treatment staff, including loan repayment and training fellowship programs for providers that encourage more professionals to specialize in addiction treatment.”

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