Trump builds on Obama opioid policy - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Trump builds on Obama opioid policy

(AP Photo/Lisa Rathke). In this April, 11, 2018, photo, Dr. Deborah Richter, a family medicine and addiction treatment doctor, talks with a reporter at the Vermont Statehouse in Montpelier, Vt. (AP Photo/Lisa Rathke). In this April, 11, 2018, photo, Dr. Deborah Richter, a family medicine and addiction treatment doctor, talks with a reporter at the Vermont Statehouse in Montpelier, Vt.
  • Related LinksMore>>

  • White House says Russia sanctions still under consideration

    White House says Russia sanctions still under consideration

    Monday, April 16 2018 12:48 AM EDT2018-04-16 04:48:50 GMT
    Tuesday, April 17 2018 8:36 AM EDT2018-04-17 12:36:20 GMT
    (AP Photo/Karel Navarro). U.S. Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a bilateral meeting with Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, at the Summit of the Americas in Lima, Peru, Saturday, April 14, 2018.(AP Photo/Karel Navarro). U.S. Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a bilateral meeting with Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, at the Summit of the Americas in Lima, Peru, Saturday, April 14, 2018.

    U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley made clear the United States won't be pulling troops out of Syria right away, saying U.S. involvement there "is not done."

    More >>

    U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley made clear the United States won't be pulling troops out of Syria right away, saying U.S. involvement there "is not done."

    More >>
  • Question of sales tax on online purchases goes to high court

    Question of sales tax on online purchases goes to high court

    Monday, April 16 2018 1:48 AM EDT2018-04-16 05:48:19 GMT
    Monday, April 16 2018 9:00 PM EDT2018-04-17 01:00:47 GMT
    (AP Photo/Jessica Gresko). In this April 13, 2018, photo, packages from Internet retailers are delivered with the U.S. Mail in a apartment building mail room in Washington. Clicking "checkout" on an online purchase could cost more after a Supreme Court...(AP Photo/Jessica Gresko). In this April 13, 2018, photo, packages from Internet retailers are delivered with the U.S. Mail in a apartment building mail room in Washington. Clicking "checkout" on an online purchase could cost more after a Supreme Court...

    A case before the Supreme Court could change the longstanding rule that businesses shipping merchandise to a state where it doesn't have a physical presence doesn't have to collect the state's sales tax.

    More >>

    A case before the Supreme Court could change the longstanding rule that businesses shipping merchandise to a state where it doesn't have a physical presence doesn't have to collect the state's sales tax.

    More >>
  • Comey speculates Russians may have damaging info on Trump

    Comey speculates Russians may have damaging info on Trump

    Monday, April 16 2018 1:58 AM EDT2018-04-16 05:58:24 GMT
    Monday, April 16 2018 6:26 PM EDT2018-04-16 22:26:11 GMT
    (Ralph Alswang/ABC via AP). In this image released by ABC News, former FBI director James Comey appears at an interview with George Stephanopoulos that will air during a primetime "20/20" special on Sunday, April 15, 2018 on the ABC Television Network....(Ralph Alswang/ABC via AP). In this image released by ABC News, former FBI director James Comey appears at an interview with George Stephanopoulos that will air during a primetime "20/20" special on Sunday, April 15, 2018 on the ABC Television Network....

    Comey's televised remarks, coupled with the release of his forthcoming book, offer his version of events surrounding his firing and the investigations into Russian election meddling and Hillary Clinton's email practices.

    More >>

    Comey's televised remarks, coupled with the release of his forthcoming book, offer his version of events surrounding his firing and the investigations into Russian election meddling and Hillary Clinton's email practices.

    More >>
  • Some in California side with US stance on sanctuary cities

    Some in California side with US stance on sanctuary cities

    Monday, April 16 2018 1:38 AM EDT2018-04-16 05:38:26 GMT
    Monday, April 16 2018 5:44 PM EDT2018-04-16 21:44:32 GMT
    (Jeff Gritchen/The Orange County Register via AP, File). FILE - In this March 27, 2018, file photo, a group of sanctuary state supporters gather outside the Orange County Board of Supervisors meeting in Santa Ana, Calif., as they prepare to discuss joi...(Jeff Gritchen/The Orange County Register via AP, File). FILE - In this March 27, 2018, file photo, a group of sanctuary state supporters gather outside the Orange County Board of Supervisors meeting in Santa Ana, Calif., as they prepare to discuss joi...

    A growing number of cities and counties are resisting California's efforts to resist the Trump administration's crackdown on immigration, creating a patchwork of positions on how and when local police should help federal deportation agents.

    More >>

    A growing number of cities and counties are resisting California's efforts to resist the Trump administration's crackdown on immigration, creating a patchwork of positions on how and when local police should help federal deportation agents.

    More >>
  • Granddaughter: Barbara Bush is 'a fighter,' in good spirits

    Granddaughter: Barbara Bush is 'a fighter,' in good spirits

    Monday, April 16 2018 12:18 AM EDT2018-04-16 04:18:17 GMT
    Monday, April 16 2018 3:03 PM EDT2018-04-16 19:03:16 GMT
    (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File). FILE - In this March 29, 2015, file photo, former President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara Bush, left, speak before a college basketball regional final game between Gonzaga and Duke, in the NCAA basketball tour...(AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File). FILE - In this March 29, 2015, file photo, former President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara Bush, left, speak before a college basketball regional final game between Gonzaga and Duke, in the NCAA basketball tour...

    A family spokesman says former first lady Barbara Bush appreciates the messages and prayers she is receiving and that she "has been a rock in the face of her failing health."

    More >>

    A family spokesman says former first lady Barbara Bush appreciates the messages and prayers she is receiving and that she "has been a rock in the face of her failing health."

    More >>

By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - Deep within President Donald Trump's plan to combat opioid abuse, overshadowed by his call for the death penalty for some drug traffickers, is a push to expand the use of medication to treat addiction.

It's a rare instance in which Trump isn't trying to dismantle Obama administration policies, and where fractious Republicans and Democrats in Congress have come together.

Trump declared last month that "we're making medically assisted treatment more available and affordable," even as Congress was working to approve $1 billion for a new treatment grant program for opioids as part of the massive government funding bill.

Not to offer such treatment is like "trying to treat an infection without antibiotics," new Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told the National Governors Association earlier this year.

Experts have long argued that medication-assisted treatment should be the standard of care for people addicted to heroin and other opioid drugs. But acceptance lags. Cost is a barrier, as are government regulations. Some of the medications are opioids themselves and there's no consensus on how long patients should remain in treatment.

In its final year, the Obama administration pushed through Congress $1 billion for opioid crisis grants to states. Of that, $500 million was to be released last year and the other $500 million this year. States had to show that their opioid programs are based on clinical evidence, so medication-assisted treatment got a big boost.

The 2018 spending bill provides another $1 billion, and the Trump administration says it will carry even more specific requirements for states to use treatment supported by clinical evidence, including medications.

"The government is talking about treatment and medication-assisted treatment in a way that the government has never done before," said Tom Hill, vice president of addiction and recovery at the National Council for Behavioral Health, which advocates for mental health and addiction treatment.

Overdose deaths from heroin, synthetics like fentanyl, and prescription painkillers, reached 42,000 in 2016, according to the latest statistics.

"This is being addressed as the illness that it is," said Elinore McCance-Katz, assistant secretary of HHS for mental health and substance abuse. "Most definitely the government is acknowledging the disease of addiction as it pertains to opioids - and other substances as well - but opioids of course are an emergency."

Grants are awarded to states based on a variety of factors, including overdose deaths and the number of people who can't find treatment.

A study looking at New England by the nonprofit Institute for Clinical and Economic Review found that every dollar invested in medication treatment would return about $1.80 in savings, when factoring in society's costs from lost productivity and crime.

Vermont has been hard hit by the addiction epidemic and is among states that have previously gotten federal money for medication-assisted treatment. Its central goal is to improve access, according to a federal report. In Massachusetts, the plan is aimed in part at pregnant women and new mothers. Indiana wants to focus on rural residents.

One Vermont physician, Dr. Deborah Richter, says medications have helped her patients, especially when combined with counseling.

"People got back to what they were before the addiction seized them," she said.

As a doctor, "it was on a personal level so rewarding to save other mothers' children."

Skeptics of the government emphasis on medication-assisted treatment say it's not a cure-all.

Jonathan Goyer, manager of the Anchor recovery program in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, said he sees many patients who don't want to take medication, because they want to be free of drugs altogether.

"We should be increasing medication-assisted treatment," said Goyer. "But we should also be increasing everything else."

At the Neil Kennedy Recovery Centers in Youngstown, Ohio, outpatient director Pam Ramsey said her program emphasizes medication as an aid, not as the sole treatment.

"It really is an assist to the treatment," said Ramsey. Along with medication, treatment incorporates a version of the traditional 12-step approach to quitting, counseling sessions, group meetings, and follow-up. "Our goal is still abstinence."

Home remodeling contractor Rob Judy said he's wrestled with heroin addiction for more than 20 years. Medication alone did not keep him drug free, nor did a faith-based program.

Finally Judy signed up for comprehensive treatment at Neil Kennedy.

The medication puts out "the fire of active addiction, of having to wake up and use," said Judy. But he says that needs to be followed with counseling, peer support and follow-up care.

"I believe that addiction is based on and driven by loss, and at the core of it is pain," said Judy. "If you don't address those issues, sooner or later you're going to relapse."

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Government shutdown endNational politicsMore>>

  • Calif. governor says deal reached on National Guard mission

    Calif. governor says deal reached on National Guard mission

    Thursday, April 19 2018 3:01 AM EDT2018-04-19 07:01:58 GMT
    Thursday, April 19 2018 10:00 AM EDT2018-04-19 14:00:21 GMT
    (AP Photo/Denis Poroy, File). FILE - In this June 21, 2006 file photo, members of the California National Guard work next to the U.S.-Mexico border fence near the San Ysidro Port of Entry in San Diego. President Donald Trump slammed California Gov. Jer...(AP Photo/Denis Poroy, File). FILE - In this June 21, 2006 file photo, members of the California National Guard work next to the U.S.-Mexico border fence near the San Ysidro Port of Entry in San Diego. President Donald Trump slammed California Gov. Jer...

    Gov. Jerry Brown says he has reached agreement with the Trump administration to deploy up to 400 California National Guard troops to the border and elsewhere.

    More >>

    Gov. Jerry Brown says he has reached agreement with the Trump administration to deploy up to 400 California National Guard troops to the border and elsewhere.

    More >>
  • Former President George HW Bush buoyed by tributes to wife

    Former President George HW Bush buoyed by tributes to wife

    Wednesday, April 18 2018 2:23 AM EDT2018-04-18 06:23:51 GMT
    Thursday, April 19 2018 10:00 AM EDT2018-04-19 14:00:17 GMT
    (AP Photo/Doug Mills, File). FILE - In this 1990 file photo, first lady Barbara Bush poses with her dog Millie in Washington. A family spokesman said Tuesday, April 17, 2018, that former first lady Barbara Bush has died at the age of 92.(AP Photo/Doug Mills, File). FILE - In this 1990 file photo, first lady Barbara Bush poses with her dog Millie in Washington. A family spokesman said Tuesday, April 17, 2018, that former first lady Barbara Bush has died at the age of 92.
    Presidents, first ladies and many others who knew Barbara Bush are praising her devotion to the nation, her family and literacy.More >>
    Presidents, first ladies and many others who knew Barbara Bush are praising her devotion to the nation, her family and literacy.More >>
  • Trump leaves open possibility of bailing on meeting with Kim

    Trump leaves open possibility of bailing on meeting with Kim

    Thursday, April 19 2018 12:52 AM EDT2018-04-19 04:52:34 GMT
    Thursday, April 19 2018 9:58 AM EDT2018-04-19 13:58:26 GMT
    (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais). President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media during a working lunch with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, at Trump's private Mar-a-Lago club, Wednesday, April 18, 2018, in Palm Beach, Fla.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais). President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media during a working lunch with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, at Trump's private Mar-a-Lago club, Wednesday, April 18, 2018, in Palm Beach, Fla.

    "If I think that if it's a meeting that is not going to be fruitful we're not going to go. If the meeting when I'm there is not fruitful I will respectfully leave the meeting," Trump told a news conference.

    More >>

    "If I think that if it's a meeting that is not going to be fruitful we're not going to go. If the meeting when I'm there is not fruitful I will respectfully leave the meeting," Trump told a news conference.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly