As the opioid epidemic rages on, the country is looking for new ways to fight it

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WASHINGTON D.C – A new report provides a road map to ways states can combat the opioid epidemic.

The American Medical Association says recommendations include improving access to comprehensive pain management such as occupational therapy or non-opioid pain relievers.

NewsChannel 34’s Brie Jackson reports.

Researchers say America is at a crossroads in our efforts to end the opioid epidemic.

Dr. Patrice Harris, President of the American Medical Association,

“it is evolving from one where the main driver of opioid deaths were prescription opioids and now we see that the main drivers are ilicitly manufactured heroin and fentynl.”

A new study points towards effective solutions.

Health officials from North Carolina say removing barriers to treatment helped reduce opioid deaths in their state.

Dr. Susan Kansagara, Chronic Disease and Injury Section Chief, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services,

“we know that opioid use disorder is a long term, chronic conditions that requires a lifetime of treatment and recovery.”

Pennsylvania leaders say expanding access to Medicaid increases access to care.

Jessica Altman/ Pennsylvania Insurance Department Commissioner,


“To insure their health insurance products cover not just inpatient treatment but also medicated assisted treatment access to naxolone the life-saving overdose reversal agent.”

Just last week the Trump Administration announced it’s providing 1.8 billion dollars in grants spread across all fifty states.

That money will cover a range of programs including expanding telemedicine to rural areas and improvments to treatment options in prisons.

President Donald Trump,

“These funds will be delivered to the communities where help is most needed.”

Supporters say grants help but long term solutions are needed.

Dr. Susan Kansagara, Chronic Disease and Injury Section Chief, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services,


“These funds are coming in, in one and two year grants we know to provide treatment we need to have long term funding.”

Researchers hope their findings guide other states in their fight against opioids. In Washington, Brie Jackson.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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