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Biden's Win Helps Gov. Greg Abbott's Crisis Plan in Texas

2Paragraphs logo: MainLogo 2Paragraphs 3/29/2023 Claude Wooten
Gov Greg Abbott © Provided by 2Paragraphs Gov Greg Abbott

White House Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice called FDA approval of the anti-opioid drug Narcan for over-the-counter use a big step in fulfilling a promise President Joe Biden made at the beginning of his presidency.

Early on, Biden identified four areas where he believed public opinion enjoyed such broad consensus that work toward solutions in them would, Biden believed, be able to sidestep the toxic partisanship that too often paralyzes government efforts.

The four goals of what Biden called, in his first State of the Union address, his “Unity Agenda” were to “take on the mental health crisis, accelerate progress against cancer, deliver on our commitment to veterans, and combat the opioid epidemic.”

The CDC shows a “decrease or flattening of overdose reports for seven months in a row,” HHS said in a statement on the new availability of Narcan or Naxolene. “To build on this progress, the Administration is focused on expanding access to naloxone, connecting more people with addiction to treatment, supporting people in recovery, and reducing the supply of illicit drugs like fentanyl.”

Rice says the broadening of access to Narcan “is a major step toward tackling the opioid crisis-a pillar of @POTUS's Unity Agenda.”

If the agenda of the Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is any measure-since Biden and Abbott agree on very little-then Biden did choose his bipartisan areas of agreement well.

The Texas Tribune reports that “from April 2021 to April 2022, 4,839 Texans died of a drug-related overdose, a 63.4% increase in fatalities over the last three years, based on CDC estimates.”

“The good news is that there is an immediate response antidote for someone who takes fentanyl,” Gov. Abbott said last autumn, discussing measures to combat the opioid crisis in Texas. “They could be going through a seizure on the brink of losing their life, and if they can gain access to Narcan, that can save their life instantly.”

Abbott has pushed for schools, hospitals, and law enforcement to have easy access to the drug, even saying-despite his conservatism-that the state should fund the distribution of Narcan. FDA over-the-counter approval makes such broad access easier.




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