The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), a US non-profit organisation, has requested the Administration and Congress to provide $1bn emergency supplemental funding to address opioid epidemic in the country.

The funding is intended to enable the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with state and territorial health departments to allocate required resources.

In addition to boosting prevention campaigns for opioid misuse and addiction, the organisations plan to enhance public health surveillance for gaining better insights on the epidemic.

The fund will also be utilised to link electronic health records with prescription drug monitoring programmes (PDMPs), as well as for expansion of access to naloxone, medication assisted treatment and additional services such as telehealth and telemedicine.

“While the Administration has made major federal investments in treatment and recovery, health officials need funding for prevention.”

Furthermore, the agencies intend to expand partnerships with law enforcement.

ASTHO executive director Michael Fraser said: “While the Administration has made major federal investments in treatment and recovery, health officials need funding for prevention.

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“We strongly encourage Congress to provide this emergency supplemental funding and address this deadly crisis like any other emergency where the Administration proposes and Congress provides the resources necessary to defeat it.”

According to ASTHO, more population-based and community-wide public health programmes will be required to address the opioid misuse.

When granted, the emergency supplemental funding will be spent during fiscal 2018 and 2019 by the CDC, and state and territorial health departments to prevent use of illicit substances, primarily opioid.