By Steve HollandThe US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced today that it will reduce funding for opioid-related health care programs, including hospice care and home care, in order to reduce opioid overdose deaths.
The cuts would affect an estimated 2.1 million people.
“Our nation’s opioid epidemic is at a critical and growing stage,” Dr. Tom Frieden, the Secretary of Health & Human Services, said in a statement.
“We have made some important progress, but this is not enough.”
In October, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the death rate from opioids has quadrupled in the US since 2014.
The increase in overdose deaths, which were previously estimated to be around one per day, has led to widespread calls for a federal crackdown on the opioid epidemic.
This year alone, the CDC reported a record number of more than 100,000 opioid overdose related deaths.