A group of 19 U.S. senators recently sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to increase federal funding to fight the opioid and substance use disorder (SUD) crisis.
The senators made three requests: Increasing support for the addiction treatment provider workforce, including training grant programs and existing loan repayment; prioritizing funding for federal grants and programs aimed at opioid and SUD prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and recovery in the president’s upcoming budget proposal to Congress; and providing robust funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to support and expand essential services for overdose prevention.
“Despite the strong federal investment in the past few years, the opioid and SUD epidemic continues to evolve and ravage communities across the country, and the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to exacerbate this crisis,” the letter said. “We urge you to support robust additional funding to fully support the needs of providers and state, local, Tribal, and territorial governments as they work to prevent and treat substance use disorders during this challenging time. It is essential that we commit to allocating resources to a range of evidence-based public health programs and that we fund these efforts at a level that appropriately reflects the magnitude of this crisis.”
Reported opioid and SUD overdoses and deaths have spiked since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.