NJAMHAA Applauds Surgeon General and other HHS Leaders’ Commitment to Addressing the Opioid Crisis

September 21, 2018

Statement from Debra L. Wentz, PhD, President and CEO

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of the Surgeon General, Jerome M. Adams, MD, MPH, published a new report, Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General's Spotlight on Opioids, is a compelling, comprehensive and much-needed resource. As opioid use disorder increases in prevalence in New Jersey and across the nation and fatal overdoses occur every day, it is imperative for everyone - not just government leaders and substance use professionals - to do everything they can to help address this devastating crisis.

In addition to providing updated information on the prevalence of substance use overall and opioids in particular, it recommends positive actions that individuals in all capacities - healthcare and education professionals, researchers, employers, family members and entire communities - can take to help prevent opioid use disorders and ensure access to life-saving treatment.

It is heartening to see that HHS leaders are collaborating with each other and with state governments and providers throughout the country. Federal initiatives with appropriate funding are essential for increasing access to services to prevent, treat and provide recovery support for opioid addiction and other substance use disorders.

In light of the challenges in addressing this overwhelming problem, NJAMHAA is inspired by Jerome Adams' outline of reasons for optimism, especially the emphasis on research, evidence-based treatments and recovery support services to achieve the goal of reversing the opioid crisis.

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