What Exactly Does a National Emergency Mean for Addiction? By, Alek Sabin

What Exactly Does a National Emergency Mean for Addiction? By, Alek Sabin

Recently, the Trump administration announced that the opioid epidemic and the addiction that it has caused is a national emergency that was going to require government attention. This declaration is an enormous deal in the continuing fight to reduce the effects of addiction that have spread over the country and has disproportionately affected our elderly, as well as the millennials that are supposed to be joining the workforce. However, it’s important to take a step back and look at what a declaration of a national emergency means and what exactly it changes. Here are some things to keep in mind, in the months and years ahead…


“There are two different national emergency laws that could be used.”

First of all, it’s important to note that Trump hasn’t actually made an official declaration of a national emergency through the legal system, but has said that he is going to do so. At the moment, the administration says it is exploring options about how it is going to go about declaring the emergency.

There are two laws that it must decide between when making the declaration: the Stafford Act or the Public Health Service Act. A declaration made under The Stafford Act would open up funding that is used for natural disasters and other such relief funds, while the Public Health Service Act would utilize medical resources that are at the government’s disposal. Either way, money and personnel would be deployed to different areas in need.

 

“More funding would be opened up”


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Either way, one of the major differences that an official declaration of a national emergency would mean is that more funding would be opened up to fight addiction around the country. This would especially benefit rural areas, which are horribly underfunded, at the moment, when it comes to fighting addiction.

For example, even though rates of substance abuse are similar between rural and urban areas, the overdose and chronic addiction rates are drastically higher in rural areas, due to the fact that urban areas benefit from more concentrated resources to focus on treatment. A national emergency fund would allow rural areas with more tools to prevent substance abuse is areas that have been alienated, thus far.

 

“Just a declaration alone brings greater awareness.”

 

Interestingly enough, one of the biggest benefits of declaring a national emergency has actually already been set in motion before Trump has even officially taken any other meaningful action. Just making a declaration that he is planning to make a declaration brings a great deal of awareness to the addiction situation in our country, as there are over 140 Americans that die every day, due to fatal drug overdoses.

“A national emergency combats the stigma of addiction.”

In a similar vein to the awareness that such a declaration brings, talking about the addiction epidemic as a national emergency also does a great deal to make this more of a health issue, rather than a moral one. Sadly, there is still a major stigma that surrounds addiction and substance abuse, which stems from a misunderstanding of the medical nature of addiction as a behavioral disease. A declaration of a national emergency does a great deal to combat that stigma and rallies the country around solving a problem that we have neglected to address for years.

“Lower drug prices could follow.”

One of the major points of the declaration that was brought up by Trump is that the administration plans to use its powers of national emergency to negotiate lower prices on lifesaving overdose drugs like naloxone. While it is uncertain how the administration could do this, and there isn’t outlined plan on how they would, what they can do to open up access is to waive restrictions on doctors who can prescribe drugs that fight the effects of addiction and eliminating limits on how many people doctors who specialize in addiction are able to treat.

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“A real fix must spread to the pharmaceutical industry.”

 

While a national emergency is a great step in the right direction, we can’t continue to fight a problem like addiction without first acknowledging the root of the problem. The opioid epidemic didn’t come from nowhere, and the nefarious truth about this situation is that it originated in the very medical system that is meant to keep our population healthy. Most people who are addicted to prescription opioids and harder opiates, like heroin, got these drugs legally, and for a good reason, in the first place.

Until we can eliminate our pharmaceutical industry’s addiction on prescribing prescription opioid painkillers that they know contain a high risk of addiction, we won’t be able to stem the continuing cycle of addiction. Hopefully, the national emergency causes the government to look at the cause, and not just the effect.

~Article Courtesy of Author, Alek Sabin

Now That The Election Hoop-La is Over! Americans and Those in Recovery Unite.

Clinton, In Concession Speech:U.S.
“More Deeply Divided Than We Thought”

 

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WELL, that clearly didn’t happen last night while I was asleep snug in my bed! I woke up this morning thinking I must had a very BAD DREAM as I woke to the new’s of Donald Trump as America’s new President!! OH SHIT was NOT a DREAM!

So I grab the nearest brown paper back and started a full on FEAR Attack!! No, really!! This isn’t a joke on my part. I am truly in fear of what is going to happen now that our next President-Elect is Donald Trump. And as a person with mental health issues, and reading of what Americans were saying, tweeting and posting all over social media? Didn’t see this coming at all. Ok, yes, maybe I am a “nut” but my fears are real. 

So as I woke up and seeing all the news and media stories, over on NetWorkedBlogs, I happen to see a fantastic post that helped a little to put my mind and nerves on OK Status for awhile on PsychCentral Website that I felt was worth a UGE SHARE to others who may be like me and have FEAR based mental health issues too. I do hope it helps others 🙂  *CAT*

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Healing After the Election

Healing after an election may not be easy for everyone, and it may be especially difficult this election year. But we must heal in order to move forward and continue to grow our great nation.

Historically, Americans have always been fairly good at letting bygones be bygones and moving on. Americans forgave British sympathizers (their neighbors) after the Revolutionary War, and we forgave again (our brothers) after the terrible devastation wrought by the Civil War. A presidential election, all things considered, should be much easier.

Ordinary Americans find the election process — and government in general — frustrating, opaque, and uncaring of their needs and challenges. Elections give us a time to vent about our frustration with the economy and government’s seeming inability to “get things done.” No matter who’s in power and who’s nominated, Americans pretty much complain about the same things in every election cycle: taxes, lack of jobs, the economy, government interference in my life, and perceived strength of our country.

Smart Americans know that government is there to perform the basic functions that help guarantee your access to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It’s not there to make sure you don’t do dumb things, make bad choices, or are actually happy.

These same neighbors and citizens also know that the ability to effect real change in America lies not with a President (who has specific, limited powers), but with the legislative body — Congress. If Americans really wanted the change they seem to clamor for every election cycle, they’d spend more time voting out the Congressional incumbents who failed to bring about the change desired.

Healing Begins at Home

If you’ve been on a different page than your spouse, partner, or kids with this election, it’s best to make amends and heal these personal wounds first. Sometimes we say things we don’t really mean in the heat of an argument. Such things may be said instead out of frustration or anger. Now is the time to apologize for such remarks and acknowledge that some elections can be more acrimonious and frustrating than others. But it is no excuse not to treat others with the same respect we all want and deserve.

Do you really want to sink a whole friendship — based upon years or even decades of shared experiences — over a single election? For most people, the answer is no. Reach out to friends who were on the other side and make amends there too.

Healing Continues at Work & with Neighbors

Maybe you’ve had one of those yard signs out on your front lawn that stood out among a sea of your opponent’s signs. Maybe you’re the one person in your office or on the job site who seemed to be for your candidate. It’s time to say, “Hey, that was some election, but I’m glad it’s over and can all get on with our lives,” and hope others hear your conciliatory tone.

Unless you went way over the top, there’s no need to apologize for your choice in candidates or your passion in arguing for your candidate (as long as you were respectful when doing so). If you did go over the top or cross a line, you should try to find a quiet, private place to make your apologies to those you may have offended. They’ll go a long way to healing any hurt feelings at your workplace.

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Healing Must Occur in Government, Too

Americans didn’t elect politicians to sit in their chairs and make speeches that nobody listens to. They elected them to do their job of running this nation’s business and getting the job done. Any politician who refuses to do their job — which includes rational discussion, negotiation, and compromise (as has always been the case) — needs to resign or face not being re-elected come next election. Citizens have said time and time again that they want a government that does their job — not one that just obstructs work from being accomplished.

Politicians must reach across the aisle and find the shared commonalities they have with one another — their pride in being American, their belief in the American work ethic, and the knowledge that together they can accomplish great things for our great country.

Here’s to the next four years of coming together again as one people, standing behind our President and elected officials, and moving forward. Because it is only together that we can make simple work of hard, complicated issues.

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“MOVING AMERICA FORWARD”