Melissa Hinkhouse Week1 6050 Assignment 3

Melissa Hinkhouse Week1 6050 Assignment 3

Melissa Hinkhouse Week1 6050 Assignment 3

The opioid crisis is a public health crisis that has been increasing and devastating lives for many years. Working as a Mental Health Registered Nurse I have seen many patients battle with addiction for one reason or another. Pharmacy companies told providers that pain relievers were not addictive, prescribers then prescribed them thinking they were safe and helping patients with pain. It was a sad when we learned, these medications had devastating consequences. I currently work both inpatient and outpatient and many of the life challenges don’t just end with the actual addiction.

According to The White House’s web page president trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency in October 2017. President Trumps plan is as follows: “Part 1 is reducing demand and over-prescription, including educating Americans about the dangers of opioid misuse. Part 2 is cutting down on the supply of illicit drugs by cracking down on the international and domestic drug supply chains that devastate American communities. Part 3 is helping those struggling with addiction through evidence-based treatment and recovery support services (The White House). I work for a Grant part time called RCORP, we have been assessing the needs of the Western Upper Peninsula for Opioid addiction services availability. We just completed phase one, the need’s assessment. This grant is funding by an organization. I mention this because though some of the prescribing laws have changed, why is a private organization having to fund this grant I work for. Why is the government not assisting in analyzation of rural access to treatment for opioid addiction treatment? I feel as though that is something Trump could assist in implanting. In the UP we have very few inpatient treatment facilities. We have two mental health inpatient facilities for short term hospitalizations. The shortage and access to care is simply not enough.

President Obama initiated the grant program for at HHS for Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) which began in 2015 with 11 states receiving a total of $12 million. More states were added in fiscal 2016 and 2017; the 2017 pot is $26 million, and five new states will be added (Barlas, 2017). At the very end of President Obama’s tenure in 2016, Congress passed the 21st Century Cures Act, which allocated $1 billion over two years to enhance states’ response to the epidemic. The Cures Act set up a new grant program within the HHS called the State Targeted Response (STR) to the Opioid Crisis Grants. A little less than $500 million in new money in both fiscal 2017 and fiscal 2018, over and above $53 million in opioid grants from HHS in fiscal 2016, will be distributed to all states and territories based on the degree of their opioid addiction problem. The grants will provide support to states for increasing access to treatment, reducing unmet treatment need, and reducing opioid-related overdose deaths (Barlas,2017). I would have made it mandatory that all MAT patient must also see a LMSW for counseling on a regular basis to receive services. I am a firm believer that cognitive therapy assists the MAT process for better outcomes.

During Presidents Bush’s term prescription drug abuse was still a concern, with Oxycontin being the primary medication of choice. The drug epidemic was more adolescent focused. President Bush issued The National Drug Control Strategy in 2006, the goal of the strategy is to reduce drug us. His plan had three chapters, each build on the previous: “The first chapter, Stopping Drug Use Before It Starts, outlines the Administration’s work to prevent the initia­tion of drug use. The second chapter, Healing America’s Drug Users, high­lights initiatives that treat drug users. The third chapter, Disrupting Drug Markets, outlines the Administration’s work at home and abroad to disrupt the availability of illicit drugs, through source country efforts, interdiction programs, and investigative operations. (The White House, 2006). Bush’s plan focused on the largest city, I understands funds are limited and large cities are often the gateway but being from a rural community I feel as though the drug issues we have are high. I would have asked he have small task forces for rural communities that branch of from his large city plan.

The opioid crisis did not occur overnight; it will not be corrected overnight. But with excellent leadership, we can improve access to care and beginning offering people the services they need when they are ready to utilize them.


Barlas, S. (2017, September). U.S. and States Ramp Up Response to Opioid Crisis: Regulatory, Legislative, and Legal Tools Brought to Bear. P & T: a peer-reviewed journal for formulary management.

The United States Government. Ending America’s Opioid Crisis. The White House.

The White House (2006). Office of National Drug Control PolicyWashington,D.C.20503National Drug Control Strategy. Retrieved June 1, 2020, 2006, from:


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