Last week, the U.S. Senate passed a drug abuse prevention and treatment bill 94-1. The New York Times reported it is the biggest bill on the topic since 2008, when Congress mandated insurance coverage for addiction treatment.
The overwhelming bi-partisan support for the bill underlined the growing attention to the very real increase in overdose deaths due to prescription drug abuse and heroin use. Governors talked with President Obama about the same topic during the National Governors’ Association meeting in February. In a CSG analysis of 2016 governors' state of the state addresses, substance abuse and drug overdoses figured prominantly as key themes.
A February 2016 CSG Capitol Research Brief provides the latest data on overdose deaths by state. Fourteen states had a statistically significant increase in overdose deaths from prescription drug abuse and heroin use from 2013 to 2014, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.