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Expand chart
Data: Avalere; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

The supply of prescription opioids is falling in almost every state, but Congress and the private sector still have a lot more to do to stem the tide of a still-growing epidemic.

Between the lines: States with laws limiting opioid prescriptions have seen the steepest declines in supply, suggesting that intervention can work. That's good news for both Congress and a coalition of health industry players responding to the crisis.

Only 10% of people suffering from a substance use disorder get specialty treatment. Some don't have insurance and thus can't afford it, but treatment can be inaccessible even for people with coverage.

  • “Right now, there’s not even availability of many qualified caregivers in many parts of the country for opioid abuse treatment," said Mark McClellan, who held senior positions at the Department of Health and Human Services in the Bush administration and worked to develop a new industry roadmap.
  • Providers in turn complain that insurers create barriers to treatment access, including through "prior authorization" requirements.

The House is finishing up a two-week sprint of passing opioid-related bills, some of which could have a substantial impact.

  • This week's biggest bills are one that lifts the "IMD exclusion" for those with opioid use disorder, which will help Medicaid enrollees gain access to treatment, and one that allows substance use disorder to be included on a patient's medical records.

Yes, but: While Congress approved nearly $4 billion for the opioid crisis in the spending bill this year, there's still a huge need for more treatment funding.

  • “It seems there is a real financing gap," McClellan said.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Ipsos poll: COVID trick-or-treat — Study: Trump campaign rallies likely led to over 700 COVID-related deaths.
  2. World: Boris Johnson announces month-long COVID-19 lockdown in England — Greece tightens coronavirus restrictions as Europe cases spike — Austria reimposes coronavirus lockdowns amid surge of infections.
  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
  4. Technology: Fully at-home rapid COVID test to move forward.
  5. States: New York rolls out new testing requirements for visitors.
4 hours ago - Health

Boris Johnson announces month-long COVID-19 lockdown in England

Prime Minsiter Boris Johnson. Photo: NurPhoto / Getty Images

A new national lockdown will be imposed in England, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Saturday, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country topped 1 million.

Details: Starting Thursday, people in England must stay at home, and bars and restaurants will close, except for takeout and deliveries. All non-essential retail will also be shuttered. Different households will be banned from mixing indoors. International travel, unless for business purposes, will be banned. The new measures will last through at least December 2.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The massive early vote

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Early voting in the 2020 election across the U.S. on Saturday had already reached 65.5% of 2016's total turnout, according to state data compiled by the U.S. Elections Project.

Why it matters: The coronavirus pandemic and its resultant social-distancing measures prompted a massive uptick in both mail-in ballots and early voting nationwide, setting up an unprecedented and potentially tumultuous count in the hours and days after the polls close on Nov. 3.

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