Evidence Base in Design

Health policies are proposed to address healthcare and public health challenges in the country. Policymakers play a critical role in designing and implementing policies (Tummers & Bekkers, 2014). Actors in politics and the health care system collaborate, amid critical discussions, to ensure success in addressing an identified policy issue (Milstead & Short, 2019). Although many policy issues have emerged in the recent past, the opioid crisis requires immediate policy action to save lives.

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The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) of 2016 is one of the health policies designed to address the issue of opioid misuse and addiction in the United States.  Together with the 21st Century Cures Act, the policy authorizes federal funding at the state level to supplement the prevention and treatment of opioid abuse (Gostin, Hodge, & Noe, 2017). The policy supports activities, such as improvement of prescription drug monitoring, health care providers’ training, and expansion of access to treatment for opioid abusers.

Furthermore, the policy is supported by research evidence and data, especially relating to the high prevalence of opioid misuse and addiction in the country. For example, the course of action is informed by the statistics revealing a three-fold increase in the number of opioid pain relievers prescribed per individual from 1999 to 2015. The policy is also informed by evidence on the cost burden related to the opioid epidemic in the country, which increased to almost $96 billion and 42,000 overdose deaths in 2016 alone (Whitmore et al., 2019). The evidence revealed a need for health policy to address the problem.

The opioid crisis is a leading policy issue in the United States. Evidence shows a high magnitude of the problem, hence the need for effective policy interventions to address the concern. The design and implementation of policies, such as CARA, are based on research evidence of the significance of a problem to healthcare and public health in the country.

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