WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin applauded a federal investment from the Obama Administration in Wisconsin’s prescription drug abuse and overdose prevention efforts.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has officially launched the new Prescription Drug Overdose Prevention for States program (PDO PfS) and Wisconsin will receive federal funding of $939,768 per year to advance prevention on multiple fronts.
“With this federal investment from the Obama Administration, Wisconsin will be able to execute and evaluate prevention strategies to improve safe prescribing practices and prevent prescription drug overuse, misuse, abuse, and overdose,” said Senator Baldwin.
“It is my hope that the Walker Administration will welcome this federal investment in our state and put it to good use to advance interventions that address our prescription drug abuse epidemic.”
As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Baldwin is a strong supporter of increased funding for prescription drug abuse prevention, treatment and research programs.
In March, she led a call to strengthen federal investments to combat the growing prescription drug and opioid abuse epidemic in America, including the CDC’s Prevention for States program.
This new CDC initiative expands on the work of the Prevention Boost program that helps states combat the ongoing prescription drug overdose crisis.
The purpose of Prevention for States is to provide state health departments with resources and support needed to advance interventions for preventing prescription drug overdoses.
Wisconsin is one of 16 states funded to scale up interventions to address and reverse the prescription drug overdose epidemic that is causing harm to individuals, families, and communities throughout the United States.
For the next four years, Wisconsin will be funded to: enhance prescription drug monitoring programs, put prevention into action in hard-hit communities by educating providers and patients about the risk of prescription drug overdose, work with health systems, insurers, and providers to help them make informed decisions related to prescribing pain medication, and respond to new and emerging drug overdose issues through innovative projects, such as developing a new surveillance system or communications campaign.
The Prevention for States program is an important step towards helping states like Wisconsin address a growing national epidemic. Since 1999, nationally, overdose deaths involving prescription opioids have quadrupled. More than 16,000 people died from prescription opioid overdoses in 2013. Heroin deaths have also been on the rise, with more than 8,000 overdose deaths involving heroin in 2013—a nearly threefold increase since 2010. The amount of opioids prescribed and sold in the United States has increased four-fold since 1999, but there has not been an overall change in the amount of pain that Americans report.