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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Republicans cut intervention programs to care for epidemic drug addictions

Republicans seems to enjoy cutting health safety net programs where needy and low income people are helped; but now everybody is "shocked-shocked" because America is seeing a horrific drug abuse epidemic. If Republicans supported substance abuse treatment programs, instead of cutting funds to Medicaid programs, the response to this epidemic would be rapid and many lives would be saved. Shame on the Republican budget cutters! Many drug abuse deaths are preventable with rapid referrals and interventions, when people in need can access these services
But, its urgent for the programs to be funded!
Drug overdose treatment by emergency services is the most expensive way to respond to morbidities and mortalities related to substance abuse.
Instead of rapid interventions, emergency servcies are picking up the extraordinary cost of responding to the growing public health damage caused by drug addiction. Often, during the emergency response, the outcomes have been expensively fatal; becauses screening, brief intervention and referrall for treatment (SBIRT) before the crisis would've been more efficient and effective. 

A report in The Daily Beast by Zachary Siegel: 
Deaths from heroin and opioid pain-killer overdoses increased 
sharply in 2014, by 14 percent, according to a 
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention report.  
The 2014's record number of opoid overdose deaths continues 
an upward trend the CDC has tracked over the past several years. 
The CDC reports that heroin-related deaths have tripled 
since 2010 and that almost a half-million 
Americans died from drug overdoses between 
the years 2000 and 2014.

SBIRT: Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment
(SBIRT) is a cost effective and evidence-based practice used to identify, reduce, and prevent problematic use, abuse, and dependence on alcohol and illicit drugs. The SBIRT model was incited by an Institute of Medicine recommendation that called for community-based screening for health risk behaviors, including substance use. (This evidence-based intervention sure beats the cost and dismal outcomes of emergency transport and treatments.)

Unfortunately, many effective drug treatment programs rely on providing rapid access to those who need the services, when they need it. Cutting Medicaid benefits, as many states have done, and the budgets of worthy provider agencies, has allowed the addiction epidemic to become a danger to our society. Drug addiction impacts the abuser, the families of the abusers and the communities where the victims receive the illegal substances. Pubic safety expenses to capture the sellers of illegal drugs are, likewise, costly. 

Meanwhile, Republicans continue offering tax cuts to the rich and they support "corporate welfare". Indeed, it seems like Republican don't support any social policy to improve the human condition, except to offer "charity" (whatever that means). As a political party, Republicans have abandoned the concept of "compassionate conservatism". Instead, they've become the conservatives who don't care about compassion.

America's drug problem is worse than the public is being told. Nevertheless, Republicans continue to deny emperical evidence provided about practically any subject. Therefore, it will take a continual die-off of drug abuse victims to prove the Republicans wrong minded political austerity progams are responsible for killing people.

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