Spike in Opioid Overdose Deaths Due to Increase in Illicitly Manufactured Fentanyl: New Report

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Image credit: PBSS issue brief, page 2 By Ellie DeGarmo, B.A., Junior Policy Associate Opioid overdose deaths are on the rise in the United States, with over 52,400 in 2015 and recent estimates indicating that 2016 saw the steepest annual increase to date, and reaching a record annual death count of over 59,000. There are many different kinds of opioid …

Supervised Injection Facilities: A Controversial but Proven Solution to a Deadly Epidemic

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By Amanda Li and Michele Calvo In 1995, at the peak of the United States’ HIV/AIDS epidemic, 43,115 people died from the disease within that one year alone. Now, in 2017, we are facing an even deadlier epidemic: the opioid crisis. Drug overdoses are currently taking more lives than the HIV/AIDS epidemic did at its peak; in 2015 alone, over …

The Future of Mental Health is Unclear

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By Amanda Li, B.A., Junior Policy Associate Mental disorders and substance abuse have widespread, disabling burdens on our health and communities. Over 20% of people in New York suffer from mental illness-related symptoms every year, and 1 in every 10 people experience symptoms severe enough to hinder their day-to-day functioning. Moreover, across New York State, nearly 2 million people are …

HHS releases guidance on how to request funds for syringe support services

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By Michele Calvo, Policy Associate A recent public health victory has gone quietly unnoticed: the 2016 federal budget agreement revised the ban on the use of federal funds for syringe support services. As a result, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently released guidance for state, local, tribal and territorial health departments on how to request funds to …

White House Announces Multi-Level Efforts Responding to Prescription Drugs & Heroin: A Guest Post from the Advancing Prevention Project

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Last week, President Obama announced a set of multi-sectoral actions responding to the growing problems associated with opioid and heroin use. The White House’s announcement is an encouraging, albeit modest step in the right direction towards supporting a range of prevention activities. Federal actions include increasing prescriber training and improving access to medication-assisted treatment. The announcement was also accompanied by state, local, …