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DEA announces new regulations to combat opioid epidemic

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently announced the final rule, which it would use to monitor the diversion of controlled substances and implement other improvements in the quota management regulatory system for production, manufacturing and procurement. The final rule will be effective 30 days after being published in the federal register. The new rule empowers the DEA to keep a tab on the extent to which a particular drug is diverted for abuse once it has established its annual opioid production limit. The final rule has been announced after the DEA received more than 1,600 public comments in response to the April proposal that aimed to strengthen the DEA’s control over the diversion of controlled substances.

The implementation of the new rule is solely dependent on the discretion of DEA officials. According to the press release, “If DEA believes that that a particular opioid or a particular company’s opioids are being diverted for misuse, this allows DEA to reduce the amount that can be produced in a given year.” Doing so would enable the DEA to respond actively to the changing drug threat environment, encourage vigilance of opioid manufacturers and protect the masses from addictive drugs without impacting the availability of opioids for medical, scientific, research and industrial needs.

Enhanced role of state attorneys general

Attorney General Jeff Sessions believes that implementing the new rule will equip Americans better to stay protected from dangerous drugs and take them a step closer to ending the opioid crisis. The DEA’s Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon said that these new rules are a great way to decide whether a drug’s production should be reduced or not and also offer an opportunity to communicate better and share more information between the DEA and individual states.

As per the new rule, the DEA will now be required to share the proposed and final aggregate production quotas with different state attorneys general. Any issue related to the material fact raised by the state objecting the proposed aggregate production quota as excessive in relation to legitimate U.S. need will also be handled. Moreover, the DEA would also be allowed to consider relevant information from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, as well as get pertinent information from the states.

Other initiatives to curb opioid epidemic

The DEA has always been taking various initiatives to fight against the deadly opioid epidemic. From forming the Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit in 2017; hiring the Joint Criminal Opioid Darknet Enforcement (J-CODE) team in January 2018 to appointing opioid coordinators to handle criminal matters, the agency has always played an active role in finding solutions to the worsening problem. Apart from these, the DEA has never given any leverage to offenders or those committing drug crimes, and has always taken stringent actions against them.

Dealing with opioid epidemic

According to the CDC, drug overdoses killed around 63,632 Americans in 2016, of which nearly two-thirds i.e. 66 percent of deaths involved a prescription or an illicit opioid. It is, therefore, important to take concrete measures and prevent misuse, abuse and addiction.

If you or your loved one is dealing with prescription drug addiction and is looking for facilities offering drug rehab help, 24/7 Recovery Helpline can be your best guide. Call at our 24 hour drug helpline number 855-441-4405 or chat online with one of our representatives for more information about the best rehabs in the U.S. where recovery is facilitated in a serene and trigger-free environment. Remember that timely treatment can help avoid other complications arising from addiction.

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