On this International Overdose Awareness Day, the United States welcomed the stabilization of the number of overdoses in 2022 and announced $450 million in funding.
Overdoses, the scourge of the United States for many years. The White House announced on Thursday more than $450 million in additional funding to fight this overdose crisis in the United States, welcoming that their number has stabilized in the country for a little over a year, despite levels which remain record.
The country is still recording a dramatic number of overdoses: around 110,000 over one year between March 2022 and 2023, according to health authorities.
But “overdoses stabilized in 2022, after a sharp increase from 2019 to 2021, and this shows that our efforts are working,” Rahul Gupta, director of the drug enforcement office, told a press conference. at the White House on this International Overdose Awareness Day.
He admitted, however, that this stabilization did not concern deaths linked to fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid that has flooded the drug market in the United States, and the main culprit of overdoses in the country.
“Fentanyl-related overdoses remain on the rise because the supply is more lethal, but overdose deaths from other substances are down or leveled off,” he said.
Access to treatments
The new funds announced should in particular make it possible to improve prevention and access to treatment.
Some $80 million is dedicated to fighting opioids in rural areas, including expanding access to naloxone, an antidote that can revive a person overdosing on an opioid (e.g. fentanyl). ).
In the spring, the American Medicines Agency (FDA) had for the first time authorized the sale of naloxone without a prescription, in the form of a nasal spray known under its brand name Narcan. It then authorized in July the free sale of a generic.
“Facing the overdose epidemic”
This week, Emergent BioSolutions, which produces Narcan, announced that the first boxes sold without a prescription, containing two doses, would be available from September in pharmacies, US supermarkets and online on the internet, for a price of 44, 99 dollars (around 41.50 euros).
Families of overdose victims are to be received at the White House on Thursday, which marks International Overdose Awareness Day, in the presence of Doug Emhoff, husband of US Vice President Kamala Harris.
“My administration will continue to ensure our nation has the resources we need to deal with the overdose epidemic,” President Joe Biden said on X (ex-Twitter).
Source: BFM TV