Advocating for Real and Evidence-Based Solutions For America’s Opioid Crisis

Help Us End America’s Opioid Crisis

One number – “130” – puts a sharp and sobering point on America’s devastating opioid crisis: it’s the average number of Americans who die everyday from an opioid overdose. Today, opioid overdoses are the leading cause of death for Americans under 55. America’s healthcare providers – our nurses, doctors, and other healthcare providers – are in the trenches every day combating this crisis, and are uniquely qualified to lead us out of it. Let’s ensure they have the resources to do so!

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Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich and West Virginia University President Gordon Gee have created a nonprofit that will work to ensure any opioid settlement includes hospitals, which are uniquely qualified to solve the opioid crisis.

AVERAGE NUMBER OF DEATHS PER DAY FROM OPIOID OVERDOSE

LIVES LOST, 1999-2017

The Untold Story

Opioid addiction is an illness, and the opioid crisis is, first and foremost, a medical crisis. Other institutions are affected, but hospitals are providing the direct and sustained medical response. Hospitals are directly bearing the brunt of this crisis. Emergency care always involves hospitals, and today hospital emergency rooms are overrun with people who have opioid addictions. In many cases, the hospitals are legally bound to provide weeks of inpatient care. In each instance, the hospital bears the expense of caring for these patients, but many are uninsured. Hospitals are therefore shouldering a disproportionate share of the financial burden this crisis has created.

U.S. hospitals provide billions of dollars annually in unreimbursed care directly related to the opioid crisis. Hospitals in Appalachia, the epicenter of the opioid crisis and an area that includes large parts of Ohio and West Virginia, incur millions of dollars annually in unreimbursed care related to the opioid crisis.

What's At Stake

The stakes are high, very high, and there are many important lessons from the past we should embrace, most notably the lost opportunities that came with the tobacco master settlement agreement. In that instance, barely more than 1/3 of the settlement dollars have been spent on health and tobacco controls. You can read more about how these dollars have been use by clicking on this link.

In a nutshell though, the Government Accountability Office reported in February 2007 that 22.9 percent of proceeds from the settlement during Fiscal Years 2000 to 2005 had gone to close state budget shortfalls; 7.1 percent had been spent on “general purposes;” and 6 percent on the politically popular term “infrastructure.”  Other notable highlights were that 11.9 percent of funds were “unallocated” and 7.8 percent had been devoted to “other.” 

Hospitals, on the other hand, are in the best position to address the problem: they have brick and mortar structures that can serve as a place to begin treatment, and most importantly, they have the human capital to make it all happen – the medical professionals who are equipped to manage the issue. In many and most cases, hospitals have the existing mechanisms for treatment, coping and curing people with opioid addictions.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the purpose of this organization?
Our mission is twofold: to advance evidence-based solutions for the opioid crisis and to provide information and education about the negative impact of the crisis on America’s hospitals. We strongly believe that proceeds from the lawsuits against opioid manufacturers and distributors must be directed toward hospitals, as they are in the best position to help move the country out of the opioid crisis.

2. Why should hospitals get money from the opioid lawsuits?
First and foremost, the opioid epidemic is a medical crisis. Hospitals are providing direct and sustained medical response to the crisis – as they have for 20 years – and are in the best position to provide real and actionable solutions to the problem. They have both the facilities and medical professionals necessary to do so.

Additionally, hospitals experience a huge financial burden attributable to the opioid crisis. U.S. hospitals provide billions of dollars annually in care directly related to the opioid crisis – care for which they often receive little or no reimbursement. Many hospitals in areas hardest hit by opioid addiction are vulnerable to closure due in part to the high cost of the crisis.

3. Does CEOT want to control where settlement money goes and/or distribute it?
No. CEOT was created to raise awareness about the harm hospitals have experienced as a result of the opioid epidemic and to educate the public about the role hospitals can play in leading us out of the crisis. Though CEOT believes hospitals should be a direct recipient of settlement dollars, legal trusts established by the courts as part of settlement agreements or court rulings will be charged with distributing funds.

4. Then how does CEOT get its funding?
CEOT relies on generous contributions from individuals and organizations who support our mission to provide educational resources on the negative impact of the opioid crisis on America’s hospitals and promote evidence-based solutions to the crisis.

Generally speaking, our donors include individuals who have been personally impacted by the opioid crisis, those who work in or with hospitals and have seen the devastation of the crisis firsthand, and organizations that want to ensure hospitals receive the resources needed to lead us out of the crisis. Donations are typically less than $50 and come from residents and organizations in states across the country.

5. How can I donate to CEOT?
If you would like to make a contribution, you may do so on our website here.

6. Is there a minimum donation requirement?
No – we welcome donations of any size.

7. Is my donation tax-deductible?
Contributions made to Citizens for Effective Opioid Treatment (CEOT) are not tax deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. CEOT is a tax-exempt organization under IRS Code Sec. 501(c)(4) to provide education and research.

8. Can my gift remain anonymous?
Yes. As a 501(c)(4), CEOT is not required to publish the names of our donors. Because many have been personally impacted by the opioid crisis, anonymity is important to many of our donors. We respect our donors’ privacy and will not release our donor list.

9. How else can I get involved?
Join the #130aday movement by sharing this website with your friends and colleagues, posting on social media using #130aday, and subscribing to our newsletter list to stay up-to-date on settlement decisions, receive educational materials and learn about additional ways to get involved.

10. Why #130aday?
On average, 130 Americans die every day from opioid overdose. By using #130aday on social media, we aim to increase awareness of the magnitude of the opioid crisis and work together to ensure our healthcare providers have the resources they need to lead us out of it.

America’s hospitals can lead us out of this crisis

Hospital-based administration of opioid treatment programs stands in stark contrast to the experience in which tobacco settlement monies were diverted to public entities, which frequently did not use the settlement monies for tobacco-related cessation and diseases, but rather general work projects. Hospitals are critically underfunded in this regard. Funds to hospitals will cause existing evidence-based programs to flourish and bloom.

My son Steve did not want to die. He wanted to get well. He tried really hard to get well, but his prescription opioids killed him. 

- Judy

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