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The Fight Against Heroin And Opiate Abuse: Obama’s New Plan

Brenda Munnerlyn, RN, BSN

Medically reviewed by

Brenda Munnerlyn, RN, BSN

April 8, 2019

If you or someone you know suffers from heroin or opiate addiction, a recent announcement may have caught your attention: on October 21, 2015, the Obama Administration announced that it will be increasing access to drug treatment and will expand training for doctors that prescribe opiate painkillers.

The Fight Against Heroin And Opiate Abuse Obama's New Plan

The Washington Post estimated that this new plan would have a moderate effect on the war against heroin and opiate abuse. Heroin and prescription drug overdoses now kill more people than car accidents each year: heroin overdose deaths alone have quadrupled in the last decade.

Heroin and opiate abuse is a troubling epidemic and something we should all be aware of in our families and communities. Understanding how this news affects you can help you make the decision towards choosing the right drug rehab option.

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The Plan

The Obama Administration hopes to increase the number of doctors that administer buprenorphine which is used to treat opiate addiction from 30,000 to 60,000. And more than 40 medical providers consisting of doctors, dentists, and other experts have expressed their desire to train and educate around half a million medical professionals on safe prescription opiate medication use.

The Administration’s plan is to shift drug abusers away from punishment and the criminal justice system and towards treatment for addiction. They plan on linking law enforcement and healthcare officials to work more closely together on this epidemic.

Both sides of the political fence agree that more treatment is needed in this epidemic. The Obama Administration also has proposed $133 million in new spending to:

  • Increase data collected on overdose levels
  • Slow down over prescribing medications
  • Expand access to Naloxone (a drug that can reverse the effects of an opiate overdose)
  • Double the providers that can administer Naloxone


Some healthcare professionals warn that if Naloxone is used too much, it could be a detriment to those struggling from addiction. Although the drug has saved many lives and has good qualities, treatment advocates warn that we may become too reliant on the drug and that it does not deter people from abusing heroin. This is why after Naloxone is administered, the struggling individual should seek inpatient or outpatient rehab facilities to get the complete help they need.

Bully Pulpit Power And Advertisements

Obama plans to use his bully pulpit power and federal programs to help curb the heroin and opiate epidemic. And media outlets, such as CBS, ABC, Google, and The New York Times have agreed to more than $20 million dollars to run ads for public service announcements about the epidemic.

Advertisements will hopefully educate families and communities on the dangers of heroin and opiate addiction. And it is hoped that the ads will encourage struggling individuals to seek the treatment they need.

Seek Help Today

While it is currently unclear just how effective Obama’s plan against heroin and opiate abuse will be, increased addiction treatment and education is something we need. If you have not been able to find the help you need for your heroin or opiate addiction, contact us today at We can help you find a rehab program that is right for you.

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