Giving Compass’ Take:
• Private philanthropy can address drug addiction issues through funding innovative care models for rehabilitation and addiction research initiatives.
• What are the main barriers to funding in drug addiction research and care? Which donors are successfully taking advantage of this opportunity?
• Read about the role of philanthropy in addressing the opioid crisis.
Drug overdoses kill more people in the United States than guns or car accidents and are the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seventy-two thousand people in the United States died from drug overdoses in 2017, compared to sixty-four thousand in 2016.
It’s imperative that the private sector become a major contributor to solutions aimed at addressing the substance abuse epidemic. The reasons are varied, but key among them is that healthcare policy too often discriminates against those with addiction issues, while insurance companies have been reluctant to provide coverage for people who are addicted. Moreover, many federal and state agencies are focused on an “arrest and incarcerate” approach and often ignore the root causes of addiction such as family history, child abuse, and so on.
The good news is that some major healthcare systems are stepping up their efforts to address the problem. Northwell Health, the largest healthcare provider in New York State and one of the largest in the U.S., is offering substance use prevention treatment through its integrated network and is supporting unique, standalone ventures focused on incubating innovative care models. Yet for these ventures to succeed, there must be private-sector funders willing to help support them.
While there are numerous areas where both individual and institutional philanthropic support can make a difference in addressing the substance abuse epidemic, key among them is the dramatic need for more research. The fact of the matter is that there is very limited funding for addiction research — especially when compared to other chronic illnesses. According to 2018 estimates from the National Institutes of Health, funds for cancer research were available at a level 3.3 times that available for addiction.
Read the full article about how private philanthropy can help address drug addiction by Andrew Drazan at PhilanTopic.
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