Obama Seeks $1.1 Billion For Treating Heroin, Prescription Drug Abuse

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President Obama is calling for $1.1 billion in new federal money to combat the growing abuse of heroin and prescription painkillers in the U.S., McClatchy Newspapers reports. The president's 2017 budget proposal will include $1 billion in mandatory funding over two years to increase addiction treatment for heroin and prescription opioids and to make the services more affordable. Most of the proposed new money ($920 million) would fund cooperative agreements with states to provide more drug-based treatment for people addicted to painkilling opioids such as OxyContin, Percocet, hydrocodone, and morphine.

The money would be allocated based on the severity of a state's problem and its strategy to address the issue. Obama's proposal would also use $50 million in National Health Service Corps funding to expand services at 700 drug treatment facilities, including those in areas with a shortage of behavioral health providers. Another $30 million would go to evaluate drug treatment programs that provide medication-assisted treatment services. Obama's proposal calls for the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services to get $500 million, an increase of more than $90 million from 2014, to help expand overdose prevention efforts, provide more medication-assisted treatment for addicts and improve access to naloxone, an emergency-use drug that reverses overdoses.

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