National Safety Council pushes opioid crisis as major election issue

The National Safety Council has released a comprehensive plan meant to address the national opioid crisis and get the issue back in the public eye in time for the 2020 election cycle.

The NSC’s plan seeks to address the roles of prescribers and prescribing in fueling the opioid crisis, as well as to improve training and education of the non-addiction specialist workforce with proper science and assessments of substance use disorders. It engages treatment, recovery, and stigma reduction, promoting a structure that the NSC said encompasses the entire lifecycle of addiction.

“Overall, any plan to address opioid misuse should take a holistic approach and be based on the life cycle of addiction – from inception to recovery. One tactic cannot be effective without another,” the NSC said in a statement.

The plan was built in partnership with dozens of organizations and, according to the NSC, can be easily adopted by any presidential candidate.

Notably, the plan identifies that 75 percent of employers have been directly hit by employee opioid misuse, though only 17 percent feel they could address the problem effectively. The NSC has urged the recognition of employers’ role in plans and the crisis in general, and for someone to stand up and make a call to action. Existing candidate plans, according to the NSC, most often provide major gaps in addressing societal factors and influences such as employment, data collection, and enforcement.

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