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Agenda Comparison Grid and Fact Sheet

Agenda Comparison Grid and Fact Sheet

Part 1: Agenda Comparison Grid

Identify the Population Health concern you selected. Opioid Abuse Crisis
Describe the Population Health concern you selected. The opioid abuse crisis is a complex and multifaceted public health issue that has gripped the United States for decades. It is characterized by the misuse, abuse, and addiction to opioid drugs, encompassing prescription painkillers like oxycodone hydrocodone and illegal substances like heroin. The crisis has become a widespread epidemic, leading to a significant surge in opioid-related deaths, overdoses, and far-reaching social consequences. What was once primarily a problem associated with prescription painkillers has now morphed into a broader crisis involving various opioids, with profound implications for individuals, families, communities, and the nation’s healthcare system.
Administration (President Name) President Biden President Trump
Explain how each of the two presidential administrations approached the issue. President Biden’s approach to addressing the opioid abuse crisis is rooted in a holistic and comprehensive strategy. His administration recognizes that this grave conundrum requires a multifaceted approach that spans prevention, treatment, recovery, and harm reduction (The White House, 2022a). One of the central pillars of President Biden’s strategy is to enhance accessibility to treatment and rehabilitation services. The aim is to ensure that individuals grappling with substance use disorders have readily available resources to help them on their path to recovery.

Furthermore, the Biden administration is deeply committed to supporting individuals struggling with substance use disorders. This involves providing treatment and addressing the underlying factors contributing to addiction, such as mental health issues. The importance of mental health services as an integral component of addiction treatment cannot be overstated, and President Biden’s approach acknowledges this critical connection.

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is another core element of the strategy. MAT is an evidence-based approach that combines medication with counseling and behavioral therapies to treat substance use disorders. The Biden administration recognizes the effectiveness of MAT and is taking steps to expand its reach.

Additionally, harm reduction initiatives are being endorsed as part of the approach. Harm reduction acknowledges that individuals with addiction may not immediately achieve sobriety but aims to reduce the negative consequences of drug use, such as overdose deaths. Naloxone, a rapid-acting countermeasure for opioid overdoses, is pivotal in forestalling fatalities from such incidents. The Biden administration is committed to augmenting the prevalence of naloxone to save lives.


During the Trump administration, a proactive stance was also taken against the opioid epidemic. In 2017, President Trump declared a state of public health emergency concerning opioids, signaling the severity of the crisis and unlocking resources to combat it (Haffajee & Frank, 2018; NYT, 2017). A pivotal element of his administration’s approach revolved around curtailing the issuance of opioid prescriptions, particularly for chronic pain. The accentuation was on limiting the supply of prescription opioids to thwart the genesis of fresh addiction cases.

Additionally, the Trump administration focused on intensifying regulations pertinent to synthetic opioids, notably fentanyl. Fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid, emerged as a prominent contributor to overdose fatalities—stricter regulations aimed to curb its availability and reduce its devastating impact.

Furthermore, the administration made concerted efforts to heighten law enforcement endeavors to interdict the trafficking of contraband opioids into the nation. This aspect of the approach aimed to disrupt the illicit drug trade and reduce the availability of opioids on the black market.


Identify the allocations of resources dedicated to this issue by the current and previous presidents. President Biden has taken concrete steps to allocate resources for addressing the opioid abuse crisis. One notable initiative is the American Rescue Plan Act, which outlines substantial funding for empirically grounded treatment and recovery facilities. These funds are essential for ensuring that individuals in need have access to quality care and support services. Significantly, these resources extend beyond addiction treatment to include investments in mental health services (The White House, 2022b). Recognizing the link between mental health and addiction is a crucial aspect of President Biden’s approach, as many individuals with substance use disorders also contend with underlying mental health issues. Regarding resource allocation, President Trump’s administration directed resources toward law enforcement efforts to combat opioid trafficking (GovInfo, 2019). The emphasis on law enforcement reflected a commitment to tackle the supply side of the crisis. While this approach had its merits, it needed to comprehensively address the treatment and prevention aspects of the problem, which are equally vital.

Part 2: Agenda Comparison Grid Analysis

Which administrative agency (like HHS, CDC, FDA, OHSA) would most likely be responsible for helping you address the healthcare issue you selected? Why is this agency the most helpful? The responsibility for addressing the healthcare issue of the opioid abuse crisis primarily falls under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) purview. HHS is the federal agency tasked with protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services. It plays a central role in coordinating efforts related to substance abuse and mental health services (NIH, 2018). Within HHS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also has a significant role in monitoring and addressing the opioid crisis, particularly in data collection and surveillance.
How do you think your selected healthcare issue might get on the presidential agenda? How does it stay there? The opioid abuse crisis has reached the presidential agenda through various factors. One of the most significant drivers is the increasing public awareness of the crisis’s magnitude and devastating consequences. The rising number of opioid-related deaths, overdoses, and personal stories of tragedy have garnered attention and mobilized communities and advocates to demand action (CDC, 2021).

Additionally, healthcare professionals, advocacy groups, and affected communities have played a vital role in putting the opioid crisis on the agenda. Physicians, nurses, addiction specialists, and other healthcare providers have voiced the urgent need for comprehensive solutions. Advocacy groups and organizations dedicated to addiction treatment and recovery have tirelessly worked to raise awareness and advocate for policies prioritizing prevention, treatment, and harm reduction (CDC, 2021).

Furthermore, legislative efforts and policy initiatives have contributed to keeping the opioid crisis on the agenda. Federal and state lawmakers have introduced bills and policies addressing various aspects of the crisis, from prescription drug monitoring programs to expanding access to naloxone.

Continuous monitoring of the crisis’s impact is crucial to ensure that the issue stays on the agenda. This involves ongoing data collection, research, and evaluation of the effectiveness of interventions. It also requires a long-term approach to addressing the root causes of addiction and the social determinants that contribute to it.

Who would you choose to be the entrepreneur/ champion/sponsor (this can be a celebrity, a legislator, an agency director, or others) of the healthcare issue you selected? An example is Michael J. Fox, a champion for Parkinson’s disease. Selecting an entrepreneur, champion, or sponsor for the healthcare issue of the opioid abuse crisis is critical in advancing solutions and reducing the stigma associated with addiction. An ideal candidate for this role would be someone with personal or familial experience with addiction, as their lived experience can resonate with individuals struggling with substance use disorders.

One example of such a champion is Michael J. Fox, who advocates Parkinson’s disease research. While Parkinson’s disease and opioid addiction are distinct issues, the concept of a high-profile celebrity champion applies here. Michael J. Fox’s advocacy has raised awareness and mobilized resources for research and treatment (PAYTON, 2023). In the context of the opioid abuse crisis, a celebrity or public figure who has overcome addiction or has been directly affected by it can bring a human face to the issue and inspire hope for recovery.

In addition to celebrities, legislators, agency directors, and healthcare professionals can also serve as effective champions for the opioid crisis. For instance, a legislator who has sponsored addiction treatment and recovery bills can advocate for comprehensive policies. An agency director with a background in public health and addiction services can lead initiatives and allocate resources to address the crisis.

 Part 3: Fact Sheet

Title Summary
Addressing the Opioid Abuse Crisis: A Call to Action The opioid abuse crisis is a pressing population health concern that demands immediate attention and action. With increasing rates of opioid-related deaths and overdoses, including this issue on the legislative agenda is crucial. The opioid abuse crisis affects individuals, families, communities, and the nation’s healthcare system, making it paramount.
Importance of the Opioid Abuse Crisis
Public Health Impact Economic Impact Social Consequences
The opioid crisis has led to a staggering loss of life and health (Klobucista & Martinez, 2023). Overdoses and addiction have torn apart families and communities, making it one of the most critical public health challenges. The crisis significantly burdens healthcare systems, law enforcement, and social services, affecting the nation’s overall economic well-being(Paris et al., 2023). Opioid addiction has resulted in broken families, increased crime rates, and a growing cycle of poverty and despair in affected communities (Klobucista & Martinez, 2023).
Role of the Nurse in Agenda Setting Nurses are pivotal in agenda-setting for healthcare issues, including the opioid abuse crisis (American Nurses Association, 2018). They are on the front lines of patient care and have a unique perspective on the impact of substance abuse on individuals and families. Nurses can advocate for evidence-based treatment options, harm reduction strategies, and increased access to mental health services. Their expertise and experiences can shape policies and initiatives that address the opioid crisis comprehensively.


American Nurses Association. (2018). The Opioid Epidemic: The Evolving Role of Nursing.–safety/opioid-epidemic/2018-ana-opioid-issue-brief-vfinal-pdf-2018-08-29.pdf

CDC. (2021, June 17). Understanding the epidemic | CDC’s response to the opioid overdose epidemic | CDC.; CDC.


Haffajee, R. L., & Frank, R. G. (2018). Making the Opioid Public Health Emergency Effective. JAMA Psychiatry, 75(8), 767–768.

Klobucista, C., & Martinez, A. (2023, April 19). Fentanyl and the U.S. Opioid Epidemic. Council on Foreign Relations.

NIH. (2018, September). Facing Addiction in America.; US Department of Health and Human Services.

NYT. (2017, October 26). Trump Declares Opioid Crisis a “Health Emergency” but Requests No Funds. The New York Times.

Paris, J., Frank, R. G., & Rowley, C. (2023). The economic impact of the opioid epidemic. Brookings.

PAYTON, L. T. (2023). Michael J. Fox says he abused drugs and alcohol to cope with Parkinson’s diagnosis in a new documentary. Fortune Well.

The White House. (2022a, April 21). President Biden Releases National Drug Control Strategy to Save Lives, Expand Treatment, and Disrupt Trafficking. The White House.

The White House. (2022b, September 23). FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration Announces New Actions and Funding to Address the Overdose Epidemic and Support Recovery. The White House.


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Use this Agenda Comparison Grid to document information about the population health/healthcare issue you selected and the presidential agendas. By completing this grid, you will develop a more in-depth understanding of your selected issue and how you might position it politically based on the presidential agendas.

Agenda Comparison Grid and Fact Sheet

Agenda Comparison Grid and Fact Sheet

You will use the information in the Part 1: Agenda Comparison Grid to complete the remaining Part 2 and Part 3 of your Assignment.

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