Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin and others are urging President Joe Biden to increase federal funding for the ongoing opioid and substance use disorder (SUD) epidemic.
The Centers for Disease Control reports that over 81,000 drug overdose deaths have occurred in the U.S. within the past year.
The CDC suggests that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has played a part in the spike of overdose deaths.
In a letter to President Biden, senators highlight the spike in deaths saying, "Despite the strong federal investment in the past few years, the opioid and SUD epidemic continues to evolve and ravage communities across the country, and the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to exacerbate this crisis. We urge you to support robust additional funding to fully support the needs of providers and state, local, Tribal and territorial governments as they work to prevent and treat substance use disorders during this challenging time."
Preliminary data released by the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner cites there were 511 recorded overdose deaths in 2020 compared to 418 in 2019.
Preliminary 2020 death data for Milwaukee County:— Medical Examiner (@mkemedexamine) January 22, 2021
Drug overdose: 511
Motor Vehicle Fatalities: 107
Drug overdose: 418
Motor Vehicle Fatalities: 80
“Too few Americans with substance use disorder are able to access healthcare professionals who understand how to prevent, diagnose, and treat addiction,” said Paul H. Earley, MD, president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. “In order to expand access to high-quality, evidence-based care, the United States must invest in the addiction treatment workforce, including loan repayment and provider training grant programs that incentivize more professionals to specialize in addiction treatment.”