MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. — President Donald Trump has signed a new, bipartisan bill aimed at ending the opioid crisis.
- Trump signs bill to combat opioid crisis
- Bill to create national database with treatment resources
The bill, cited as the "Centralized Opioid Guidance Act of 2018," will have a big impact on the Bay area.
The bill will create a national database providing information to patients who want to manage pain without addictive opioids.
"I think it's just going to provide a resource so people just don't get in trouble in the first place and secondly, included in the package is we're also looking at fetanyl and other things and a lot of that is coming from China and we're providing more resources so that the postal service and others can kind of manage it and kind of keep it to a minimum the flow into community," Congressman Vern Buchanan, one of the bill's authors, said.
According to Buchanan's office, the bill requires the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services “to create an easily accessible resource guide on its website where health care providers and others can access all federal opioid prescribing guidelines.” The clearinghouse was recommended by the President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, which suggested “that HHS coordinate the development of a national curriculum and standard of care for opioid prescribers.”
A press release sent by Buchanan’s office states that the “new centralized database will contain existing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines referenced by the President’s Commission, as well as dozens of new guidelines and reports mandated by Congress in the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016.”
These guidelines and best practices will assist doctors and Medicare patients in making safe, medically appropriate decisions about how to treat pain. The Department of Justice has also approved $60 million in grants to add to the fight against the opioid crisis.
Nearly 48,000 people died last year from overdoses involving opioids, and Florida had 5,725 opioid-related deaths in 2016 — a 35 percent increase from the prior year.
At one point, Manatee County was the epicenter of the opioid epidemic in Florida. Now, the county has seen a sharp decrease in opioid overdoses compared to this time last year.
"The new bill will make it easier for people seeking treatment, making it less shameful, as it is now being recognized as a medical disorder," said Melissa Larkin-Skinner with Centerstone Treatment Center in Bradenton.
The bill inspired by many of the actions Manatee County has already started to take and has proven effective in saving lives.
Previous tactics used to combat the opioid crisis in Florida and Manatee County:
Training for Manatee residents on the drug naloxone, which is used to reverse opioid overdose