Administration’s Substance Use Disorder Policy Unclear
The Opioid Crisis was addressed in the President’s recent State of the Union Address. He stated that his administration will provide treatment for anyone suffering from addiction. Subsequently, the White House released its 2019 Budget proposal. It contains a request for $10 billion to fight the Opioid Epidemic - a significant increase from the $3 billion contained in the budget recently passed by Congress.
The President’s budget also reduces funding for the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) from $368 million to $17 million. Former communications director Kelly Anne Conway is now responsible for shaping the administration’s drug policy and to date it seems there has been little input from organizations with longstanding histories of dealing with Substance Use Disorders (SUD).
NAATP joined the field in applauding the creation of President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. It was reassuring when the Commission, led by Governor Christie with former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, made their recommendations. NAATP suggested many of the items contained in the Commission’s final report. We were particularly supportive of the recommendations around enforcement of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act and the IMD exclusion.
The National Association is appreciative of the State of the Union rhetoric and is hopeful that the administration now follows up with action that is consistent with the recommendations of it’s own Commission. NAATP encourages the White House to expand its focus to include individuals with all SUDs and devise a program to get the funding to those who are desperately ill.
We stand ready to help in any way we can.
NAATP Director of Public Policy