Approximately 197 individuals per day overdose and lose their lives to opioids. It is a horrid statistic in our country and the impact is far reaching and devastating to families and communities. Our resources for prevention and treatment have been limited and our few systems of care for drug rehabilitation have been completely overwhelmed from this catastrophe.
Congress has been working on legislation regarding this momentous crisis. They also have heard the voice of the Campaign for Trauma-informed Policy and Practice, a group that have consistently advocated that trauma-informed care be included in the funding for this legislation.
I have contended consistently, and research has verified that the current opioid crisis has been fueled by the traumatic narratives in the lives of those who have become addicted.
In other words, something has happened in their past that has lead them to opioids and eventual addiction. That incident could be a physical injury or an emotional one. This realization broadens the scope of treatment to include a process of providing interventions, healing and recovery from trauma.
I am pleased to announce that the Opioid Crisis Relief Act is now law, signed by the President last week, after the House and Senate reached agreement on a conference bill that largely combined the bills passed by the House and Senate.
The law contains several trauma-informed provisions. One provision creates a new grant program to promote trauma-informed care in schools. A second creates a federal interagency taskforce to collect and disseminate best practices and to develop a coordinated federal approach to trauma. There are other trauma provisions in the bill as well.
This has been one of the issues where we have been able to see a bipartisan cohesiveness and commitment to deal with this national crisis. I deeply appreciate all that has been done by our Congressional legislature in passing this broad legislation. This is great news for those who are struggling with addictions as it will provide new resources for recovery. I am hopeful that funding can be made available very soon to states so we can educate, prevent and treat the horrific impact of opioids in the very near future in a more significant and successful way.
Here is a link to the bill if you wish to review it:
Gerry Vassar, President/CEO