In the face of escalating opioid abuse and deaths, the federal government is shifting resources away from schools and towards health care, public safety and community-based programs, and even prisons, according to a new report from the Center for Public Integrity.
In some cases, the shift may be the most urgent priority in a decade.
The report, “A New World Order in Public Schools,” is based on a decade of research by the center and is published on Tuesday.
The researchers found that the opioid epidemic has dramatically changed how schools and communities operate.
More than a third of all public school students have been prescribed opioid painkillers.
In 2015, the most recent year for which data is available, more than half of the school-aged population was taking opioid painkiller overdoses, up from 38 percent in 2014, according a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study.
In addition, opioid-related deaths in the U.S. increased by more than 20 percent from 2013 to 2016, and the share of opioid-induced fatalities among U.P.S.’s students increased from 22 percent in 2013 to 32 percent in 2016.
Some states have seen increases in the number of students and teachers using opioids, but other states have remained at historically low levels.
The opioid epidemic in the United States has taken a devastating toll on the health and wellbeing of students, parents and educators alike.
It has left thousands of young people at greater risk of experiencing the consequences of addiction, from addiction-related health problems to higher rates of drug abuse and suicide, the Center reported.
More: The Center for Policy Research, a nonprofit research organization, analyzed public health data from more than 500 state and local public health departments and found that while opioid use among U,P.s students and their parents is down, it is still higher than other developed nations.
While it is true that the U,S.
has a much higher rate of opioid use than most countries, the report notes that more than 80 percent of students use drugs at least once a week, and more than 60 percent of high school students report using at least one drug at least three times in the past year.
While the U.,P.
schools have become a place of safety, the public health implications are even more dire.
More from The Center: ‘What we’re seeing is a very, very dangerous situation’: Parents warn of opioid epidemic with kids more at risk than ever for addiction and overdose Read moreWhat are the consequences?
In an interview with the Center, Dr. Robert M. Zaidi, who heads the National Center for Addiction and Mental Health, told the center, “This is a crisis of the very nature that we saw in the ’80s and ’90s.
What we’re going through right now is a major shift in the relationship between the medical community and the public.”
He continued, “The public health response is very difficult, but we’ve got to respond with the right tools, and it’s not just about health care and drug use.
We’ve got the right tool to deal with this.”
Zaidis point of view is echoed by Dr. Mark A. Wengert, a professor at the University of California, San Diego, who told the Center that in the face the epidemic, public schools should not be a priority for public health, and that “there is no reason to give up the idea of public education.”
“The real question is: Are we really prepared to deal directly with this crisis?”
Wengeth, who is also a professor of public health at the U of T Scarborough School of Public Health, said in an interview.
“It’s an urgent crisis.
It’s an acute crisis.”
For the past decade, public health has been focusing on the opioid problem.
In response to the opioid pandemic, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has proposed sweeping changes to the way public health programs are funded, and several state and federal agencies have launched initiatives to increase drug testing for schools, including expanding a program that would require schools to screen for prescription painkillers for students.
But there is no federal mandate to do these things.
The CDC also has suggested that schools and other health care facilities could be forced to reduce staff hours, and they have begun implementing some of these policies, but those are in the minority of states.
In 2017, for example, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed that some public health services, including mental health services and primary health care providers, be moved to the public insurance marketplace, which would result in a drop in reimbursements to the states.
But states have refused to follow CMS’s advice.
And the public policy debates about how to address the opioid issue have been largely dominated by the opioid-abuse and death-over-illness debate.
Many states have been struggling with the opioid addiction crisis for decades.
A 2016 survey of state public health officials by the Center found that more states were considering opioid policies, such as reducing drug use