The Trump administration on Monday ordered a reversal of an opioid overdose prevention program that has resulted in more than 300,000 overdose deaths since the opioid epidemic started in 2015.
A new order issued by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price would halt a program that had provided support for those with chronic pain and has been credited with helping to prevent more than 200,000 opioid overdose deaths nationwide since it was announced in October.
In the new order, Price said the Department of Health and Senior Services will begin the opioid overdose reduction effort immediately.
Price said that if a person is found to have a current opioid use disorder and a diagnosis of opioid dependence, the program will not be implemented.
He said that this “will give people time to transition to another type of treatment, but also to get their opioid medications.”
The opioid epidemic has killed more than 13,000 people in the United States, and the numbers have continued to rise, particularly among the young.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates there are nearly 5.4 million people in treatment for opioid use disorders, including more than 2 million adults, 2.4 percent of the U.S. population.
The opioid crisis has become one of the top causes of death for the young in the U, with about 1.4 out of every 1,000 deaths among this age group being caused by opioids, according to the CDC.
Trump’s move comes after Congress failed to pass a bill last week that would have directed the HHS to develop a national opioid addiction plan.
The bill, which passed the House but stalled in the Senate, would have provided $5 billion over five years for prevention, treatment and prevention programs aimed at reducing opioid use and deaths.
A bill that would also have provided funding for addiction and opioid addiction services for the poor, and had funding for opioid overdose-prevention education and training, was also stalled.
The Trump administration has been criticized for its failure to do more to prevent the opioid crisis.
A federal judge in October ordered the Department to stop administering the program to people who have a drug-related diagnosis.
The Department said that it will comply with the order.
The president’s move has come after the American Medical Association and the American College of Physicians issued a joint statement calling for a new federal opioid prescription-monitoring program.
They have also called for an expansion of opioid addiction treatment services and treatment to more people.
“The opioid use epidemic is costing the U: Millions of Americans have been taken off the street; more than 7,000 Americans have died of overdoses; and more than 11,000 have died from overdoses.
It’s time to stop the cycle of abuse, stigma and overdose and to focus on prevention,” the AMA and the APC wrote in the statement.