President Obama proclaimed September 18-24, 2016, as Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week.
As part of the week, Members of the President’s Cabinet and federal agencies are focusing on the work being done to address the national epidemic.
Federal agencies are using all available tools to combat this epidemic by expanding evidence-based prevention and treatment programs, increasing access to the overdose-reversal medicine naloxone, improving opioid prescribing practices, and supporting targeted enforcement activities. Meanwhile, state and community leaders are working together to save lives through innovative partnerships between public safety and public health.
However, while many Americans have been helped because they got the treatment and care they needed, too many still do not receive care—often because it is not accessible in their communities. That is why the President continues to call on Congress to provide $1.1 billion in new funding to make sure everyone who wants treatment for an opioid use disorder can get the treatment they need. Every day that passes without Congressional action to provide these additional resources is a missed opportunity to save lives.
During Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week, the White House will host parents affected by the epidemic.
Attorney General Lynch and other Justice Department officials—as well as U.S. Attorney’s Offices across the country—will participate in over 160 different events.
The Department of Agriculture will host state forums on the epidemic in Connecticut and Colorado. Veterans Affairs Secretary McDonald will lead a forum in Washington, DC, on treatment and support for veterans with opioid use disorder.