Reports indicate that Donald Trump is planning on signing an executive order meant to combat the continuing opioid epidemic faced by the United States. The executive order will create a commission which will be charged with the task of compiling and publishing a report about the next steps to take in the American opioid crisis. However, what is most confusing about this executive order is that it is redundant, and tasks key members of Trump’s cabinet with completing a task that has already been accomplished.
Last year, the current Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, published his report on the epidemic, “Facing Addiction in America.” A Surgeon General’s report is a special report, which is not released on any regular schedule, but instead at the discretion of the Surgeon General. Historically, these reports have been released on urgent healthcare issues, including HIV, AIDS, tobacco use, and suicide prevention.
Dr. Murthy’s report considering a wide spectrum of research and information on the country’s burgeoning addiction rates, and set out an informed and well-reasoned strategy for allocating healthcare resources accordingly. In particular, Dr. Murthy advocated for better access to addiction recovery facilities, which are key in overcoming substance abuse issues, as well as a dramatic shift in the public’s perception of those struggling with addiction.
In addition to presenting some startling statistics – such as the fact that over 20 million Americans are dealing with substance abuse disorders – Dr. Murthy’s report identifies increased funding toward addiction recovery services as the key to defeating addiction. While it might seem counter-intuitive, this suggestion is actually the most fiscally sound course of action. This is because for every 1 dollar that is spent on addiction recovery is equivalent to 7 dollars saved in criminal justice costs and another 4 dollars saved in costs for necessary healthcare. By making an adequate investment in addiction recovery programs, the money saved will be considerable – more than ten times as much, in fact.
For an administration that claims it is committed to reducing costs for the government, the decision to create a commission to perform a redundant task seems perplexing and inexplicable. Not only has Dr. Murthy’s report already identified a method of reducing the economic impact to the government, but requiring that cabinet members spend time and resources compiling an unnecessary and extraneous report is inexplicable. Why spend money publishing this report, when a serviceable and current report is already available?
It is hard to pinpoint what the reason might be, or how an administration so fixated on slashing costs could justify wasting money in order to compile a pointless duplicate report. The evidence-based research on addiction is unambiguous: Americans struggling with substance abuse disorders will benefit from increased access to substance abuse treatment facilities and an eradication of the stigmas that are attached to addiction.
If you’re struggling with substance abuse, you deserve the chance to overcome your addiction and reach your recovery goals. Contact American Drug Testing Centers today, and we’ll get you the tools you need to overcome your addiction.