White House Releases Strategy On Combating The Opioid Epidemic

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White House Releases Strategy On Combating The Opioid Epidemic
The plan involves education for both the public and opioid prescribers, among other measures.

The White House has unveiled a plan that it hopes will "substantially [reduce] the impact of the opioid crisis".

The National Drug Control Strategy is multi-pronged, but its biggest goal is to reduce U.S. drug overdose deaths by 15% over five years. 

For context, in 2017 alone, more than 70,000 Americans died from drug overdoses. Opioids were involved in over two-thirds of those deaths. The White House wants to educate more people — especially teens — about how dangerous opioids and other drugs are. The plan aims to reduce overall teen drug use by 15% within the next three years.

It also aims to stem the flow of legal opioids at the source. It would implement more mandatory education for health professionals, as well as more training in best practices and clinical guidelines, in an effort to reduce the number of opioid prescriptions given out.  

Along those lines, the White House plan wants more states to integrate patients' online health records with their Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs. Those are programs that track what's being prescribed to whom, and they can help make sure opioids are being prescribed properly.

The Office of National Drug Control Policy said in the report that if the U.S. achieves the goals it put forth for itself, it "will have made a substantial impact on the current drug crisis and improved the lives of all Americans."