UK: $50bn over five years to deal with opioid crisis


The UK government says it is on track to provide £50bn of economic impact payments over the next five years, as it attempts to stem a national addiction crisis.

The payments, to be made annually, are to be distributed to the wider economy in a bid to cut deaths from opioid overdose and reduce addiction rates, which have soared in the past five years.

Health Secretary Eric Pickles said the money would help reduce the amount of drugs being prescribed in the country.

“We will not have an opioid crisis overnight but we have made a commitment to do all we can to address it,” he said.

“This means providing support for our health service, which has suffered from the strain of an opioid epidemic, and reducing the number of people who use opioids.”

Mr Pickles will present his plan to the House of Commons today.

Mr Pickle said the scheme would help cut the use of drugs by helping reduce demand for the drugs.

“Over the next year we will deliver around $50 billion in economic impact benefits,” he added.

The money will be used to provide healthcare, education, healthcare support, and other services to the population.

“In the coming years we will be looking at making sure that these payments are made as effectively as possible to those who need them,” Mr Pickles told the House.

“I want to thank the UK Government for all their hard work and their support.”

A total of 4.6 million people in England and Wales are dependent on opioid painkillers, according to the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

A report released last month by the Royal College of Physicians found that more than one in 10 people who overdosed on opioids in England are on disability payments.

Dr David Walker, president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, said the government’s decision to spend money on the payments is a “positive step”.

“The Royal College’s report highlights the need for a national drug policy to address this crisis and the importance of supporting the opioid treatment community to reduce the number who become addicted to opioids,” he told the BBC.

“However, this must be supported by a comprehensive approach that includes supporting health professionals and ensuring that people are able to access effective treatment.”

Topics:drugs-and-substance-abuse,community-and/or-society,health,government-and.parliament,health-policy,healthcare,australiaFirst posted May 25, 2020 19:20:15Contact Sarah TaylorMore stories from Australia