To conduct extensive research aimed at treatments for pain management and opioid addiction, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has allocated a budget of $1.1 billion for the current fiscal year, Director Dr. Frank Collins announced in Atlanta on April 4, 2018. The major announcement came during the ongoing four-day National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit, which began in Georgia on April 2.
The NIH is thus almost doubling budgetary provisions for research on opioid abuse and better pain management from around $600 million in fiscal year 2016. The NIH director also announced a new program – HEAL Initiative – to examine the severity of the current drug crisis. “What we want to do is push this forward at a much more accelerated pace,” he said.
Citing the disturbing figure of 115 Americans’ death every day due to opioid overdose, Dr. Collins said, “That is a fourfold increase since 2000, and the numbers continue to climb. NIH has been deeply invested in efforts to counter this crisis through research, but we are determined to do even more… NIH is committed to bringing the full power of the biomedical research enterprise to bear on this crisis.”
The HEAL Initiative
Although several scientific studies have been undertaken in the past to discover new remedies for combating addiction, so far there is no clarity if they are fit for humans. Though the tests have been conducted on mice, the development time can take longer when it comes to mandatory human testing. As per the NIH director, the Helping to End Addiction Long-Term (HEAL) initiative will give a boost to its research to prevent addiction through enhanced pain management and help improve treatments for opioid use disorder and addiction.
Under the HEAL initiative, the NIH plans to take up the following projects:
- Developing an extra effective and potent overdose reversal medication
- Exploring the key to sobriety in recovering drug users
- Developing a new vaccine to prevent opioid addiction
Trump administration’s efforts
Another notable speaker who shared her views in the summit was Kellyanne Conway, senior counselor to President Donald Trump and a prominent person from the White House working on opioid addiction. She presented a review of what the Trump administration has done so far to reduce addiction, especially the slashing of prescription opioids by one-third. The audience gave her a standing ovation for her efforts.
The opioid epidemic is claiming more lives than gun violence or road crashes in the U.S. According to the American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM), millions suffer from excruciatingly painful conditions every year resulting in a surge in health care and rehabilitation costs and a sharp fall in productivity. The need of the hour is to acknowledge the presence of a chronic pain problem in the country, and the medicines once considered to be lifesavers are actually proving to be life wreckers.
Millions of Americans are languishing in the throes of addiction against the backdrop of the opioid epidemic, as national figures report a worrisome six out of 10 drug overdose deaths in the U.S. involve the misuse of a prescription opioid. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), from 2000 to 2015 more than half a million countrymen lost their lives to lethal opioid overdoses.
Kicking the menace of addiction
A habitual drug use may produce noticeable behavioral or personality changes, including irritability, restlessness and anxiety. The body of a chronic drug user builds a tolerance to the increased levels of dopamine, causing long-term changes in the brain’s reward system. Drug dependence can have far-reaching impacts, affecting almost every organ in the human body. It may interfere with an individual’s ability to make decisions and can lead to frequent cravings. This is when a person needs professional help to get rid of this devastating habit and lead a normal life.
Unfortunately, most individuals fall prey to addiction more quickly than they might ever realize. The only way to break free from the clutches of deadly substances is to undergo a specialized rapid detox program to combat the life-wrecking effects of harmful drugs. Sovereign Health understands the plight of someone who is unable to discontinue the use of harmful substances despite the negative impact on his or her life. Our customized NAD treatment for addiction treats a patient holistically.
If you or your loved one is battling addiction to any prescription drug, call at our 24/7 helpline or chat online to know about our state-of-the-art rapid detox center in your vicinity.