Beshear: More Opioid Treatment Centers, Funding Needed
Recently appointed co-chair of the National Substance Abuse Committee and Commonwealth Attorney General Andy Beshear is focused on providing Kentucky with funding and resources needed to treat opioid and other drug abuse.
Beshear says recovery centers are needed in every region and more money needs to be put into recovery. U.S Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack was recently appointed by President Obama to lead an initiative to combat substance abuse. Vilsack says recent legislative changes aren’t enough.
“The problem is they just simply give permission to do more, they don't give the resources to do more. That's why the budget becomes so important. The critical component here is not authorizing legislation it is in fact the resources to expand treatment facilities in remote areas," said Vilsack.
President Obama recently issued more than $1 billion dollars to expand access to treatment for prescription drug abuse and heroin use. Beshear says his office is waiting to see how the funds are allocated and Kentucky should receive a significant share if the funds are based on need.
Beshear says a "significant number" of facilities accept Medicaid.
"What Medicaid covers isn't nearly enough time to break an addiction, we need to bridge the gap between the amount of time Medicaid can fund and the amount of time people need," said Beshear.
The Office of the Attorney General is providing more than $7 billion in settlement funds to recovery centers.