There is a lot of uncertainty about budgets and resources when it comes to fighting opioid addiction across the US. Most of the addicts that need to enter long-term treatment often come with scant resources. Some have no health insurance at all, while others are on Medicaid, but even those with insurance may be facing the loss of coverage if Obamacare truly recalled, and replaced. There are states where thousands of people are overdosing every year, and it looks like budgets are going to get tighter instead of larger. For many states, this means declaring the opioid epidemic a state of emergency in order to secure funding.
In Maryland, it’s believed that the final numbers of opiate and heroin overseas are expected to be over 2000, which is twice the number than the year before. On March 1, Maryland’s Gov. Hogan signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency in response to the opioids, heroin, and fentanyl addictions “ravaging communities in Maryland and across the country.” In response to the rise in drug-related deaths, Hogan announced on March 1 that he has budgeted an additional $10 million per year to combat overdoses over the next five years While this state of emergency didn’t add funds to create new initiatives, it did exert pressure on the Maryland General Assembly. The legislative passed several bills in early April expanding access to naloxone, providing treatment through a new crisis treatment center and providing up to three years of funding to reimburse community health providers.
In Florida, Governor Rick Scott recently declared a state of emergency as well, as the state faces rash after the state lost around 4000 people to overdoses associated with heroin, fentanyl and prescription drugs. The declaration allowed the governor to divert $27 million dollars in federal money to be used on drug education and prevention, treatment, and recovery services for addicts. Scott’s announcement followed action taken by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to declare a National opioid epidemic.
In Manatee County, Florida, Sheriff Rick Wells told WWSB news that the state’s actions will help him fight drug addiction in his community. “We’re working so hard to try to prevent people from dying, yes I get very inpatient, it upsets me and it upsets all of us,” said Wells.