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Pills & Needles: Health and Overdose Prevention in 2020
The abuse and misuse of prescription, over-the-counter, and illicit drugs has become a significant public health concern. Notable celebrity overdose deaths including Cory Monteith, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Prince Rogers Nelson have illuminated the issue in the media. There is also growing concern and awareness of the issue among lawmakers, doctors, prescribers, and the public.

More and more efforts and resources have been put into treatment programs and prevention strategies. However, the epidemic continues to worsen. In fact, rates of drug overdose deaths in the United States have risen every single year since 1992 and drug overdoses are now the leading cause of injury death in the United States claiming the lives of more than 47,000 people in 2014, higher than any year on record. Furthermore, at least half of all the drug overdose deaths in 2014 resulted from prescription opioids. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now classify prescription drug abuse as an epidemic and has made the issue a top priority for their policy agenda.

The business of preventing substance abuse as well as overdose and related deaths is of course an altruistic industry, but it has also become an economically robust industry. In fact, the Department of Health and Human Services recently announced 53 million dollars in funding to be distributed to 44 states, four tribes, and the District of Colombia for the purpose of improving access to treatment for abusers of opioids, reducing opioid related deaths, strengthening drug misuse prevention efforts, and improving data collection and analysis of opioid abuse and overdose.

State and local governments have also started to recognize addiction and overdose as a public health problem and have made the appropriate investments. In fact, states around the country are passing immunity statutes that give legal immunity to 911 callers in the event of an overdose emergency. Many of these statutes also help to arm 911 first responders with naloxone, a drug that can reverse an opiate overdose in emergency situations. Naloxone, commonly know as Narcan, is in high demand, being purchased more often and in greater quantities. For instance, in May of 2016, the City of Los Angeles awarded a nearly $30,000 contract to Bound Tree Medical, LLC to provide naloxone and related medical supplies.

As federal, state, and local agencies continue to recognize the urgency of drug abuse and overdose deaths, more and more bids and RFPs will flow into the government marketplace for treatment services and prevention strategies. Suppliers of opioid overdose kits, including naloxone and other opiate antagonists as well as providers of substance abuse treatment services must look no further than FindRFP to find opportunities of interest.

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