As the 2020 election cycle heats up, there’s one issue that isn’t getting the attention it needs – the opioid crisis.
With more than 130 deaths each day, a person’s lifetime risk of death from an accidental opioid overdose is greater than the odds of dying in a car crash.
The Davis Direction Foundation partnered with more than 50 other organizations and the National Safety Council (NSC) to tackle the crisis head on, issuing a new comprehensive plan to address opioid misuse and save lives.
In collaboration with dozens of partnership organizations, the National Plan for Addressing Opioid Misuse offers a roadmap that any presidential candidate can adopt to ensure opioid misuse in the U.S. is addressed thoroughly, thoughtfully and effectively.
The National Plan is unique in that it offers solutions for the entire lifecycle of addiction, from prevention to recovery. Its strategies engage several stakeholders including prescribers, employers, insurers, law enforcement and first responders. The plan also tackles treatment, recovery and ending the stigma of substance use disorders.
The employers’ role is a universal gap NSC analysis identified in all candidates’ plans, and it’s one that must be filled. Seventy-five percent of employers have been directly impacted by employee opioid misuse, according to NSC surveys. Only 17% feel very confident that they can address the problem effectively. While presidential actions do not necessarily become directives for private companies or organizations, a recognition of the employer role – and a call to action from the biggest pulpit in the world – can go a long way toward affecting change.
The plan offers recommendations that include:
Address the role prescribers and prescribing play in the opioid crisis
Focus on increasing access to evidence-based treatment
Improve training and education of the non-addiction specialist medical workforce – including but not limited to primary care, emergency department, acute care, and mental health professionals – on addiction science and assessing for substance use disorders (SUDs)
Urge employers to enhance existing drug-free workplace policies to include policies for employees with opioid use and other substance use disorders so they can, among other items, return to work during or have the flexibility to accommodate employees if they are prescribed opioids following treatment
Require all first responders, including law enforcement, to carry naloxone and be trained on how to administer it
The Davis Direction Foundation, NSC and all organizations signed on to this plan urge all presidential candidates to examine their existing strategies, close gaps or adopt this plan in full for the safety and wellbeing of the constituents they are vying to represent.
The Davis Direction Foundation was proud to sign on to endorse this plan, because we are committed to ending preventable overdose, too. We agree with NSC that the issue is not getting enough attention right now, and that needs to change.
To download the National Plan For Addressing Opioid Misuse, click here.