The CDC is focusing the majority of its $6.2 billion 2016 budget on emergent domestic issues, including opioid abuse. In a speech to the House Committee on Appropriations, CDC Director Thomas Frieden requested an increase of $54 million (from $20 million to $74 million) to expand the Prescription Drug Overdose Prevention for States Program to all 50 states and Washington. According to a MedPage Today report, Frieden cited education as a primary factor contributing to the epidemic, explaining that “ a generation of doctors,” including his own, was taught that opioids were not addictive while in medical school. Frieden stated in his speech that opioid abuse “was a problem that was fundamentally created by bad prescribing practices, and it can be ameliorated greatly by improving those practices and providing additional services to patients and to physicians.” Many members of the committee supported the request but some were concerned about “politically motivated” activities within the CDC’s recommendations to local communities. Frieden’s request comes on the heels of a Health and Human Services initiative announcement to reduce prescription opioid/heroin use and abuse.
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