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Coalition to Stop Opioid Overdose Statement on 21st Century Cures Act

“We support swift passage of the 21st Century Cures Act, which provides $1 billion to address the opioid misuse and overdose epidemic. We can all agree that prevention and treatment programs are desperately needed in this country; more than 120 Americans die from drug overdoses every day and more than half of Americans say that they or someone they know has misused, been addicted to, or died due to overdose from prescription pain medications.
The time to act is now to turn the tide on this epidemic. This legislation can help create real change for the millions of Americans impacted by the opioid crisis. In addition to the passage of this bill, we are calling for the upcoming continuing resolution to include a provision to immediately start the flow of these funds into communities across America.”

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Eight Members of Congress Recognized During Prescription Opioid and Heroin Awareness Week for Their Work to End the Opioid Epidemic

The Coalition to Stop Opioid Overdose Presents Awards to Members Instrumental in Achieving Milestone Legislation

Washington, D.C., September 20, 2016 — The Coalition to Stop Opioid Overdose presented today the first four of eight awards recognizing key Members of Congress for their tireless work to stop the opioid misuse, addiction and overdose epidemic. These Congressional leaders are the authors, co-authors and co-sponsors of critical legislation, including the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), the Recovery Enhancement for Addiction Treatment Act (TREAT) and the Opioid Use Disorder Treatment Expansion and Modernization Act, among others. The week of September 18 through September 24, 2016 was recently recognized as Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week by President Obama.

Addiction is a chronic disease that too often goes untreated. More than half of Americans (56 percent) say that they or someone they know has misused, been addicted to, or died from prescription pain medications, according to a recent Kaiser Health Tracking Poll. When patients can’t access treatment and recovery support services, addiction can lead to disability or premature death.
The Coalition will present the final four awards tomorrow; the Members of Congress receiving awards for their leadership and commitment to ending the opioid epidemic are:

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)
Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN)
Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA)
House Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-NJ)
Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH)
Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY)
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI)
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)

“We want to recognize the considerable effort undertaken by Congress, and these members in particular, to address the opioid misuse and overdose epidemic,” said R. Corey Waller, MD, DFASAM, Chair of the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s Legislative Advocacy Committee. “As a Coalition, we remain committed to carrying this work forward to help communities in desperate need of a solution to this public health crisis.”

When Congress passed CARA in July, it represented a major public health milestone. This is the first time in decades that new legislation aimed at preventing and treating opioid misuse, addiction and overdose and supporting people in recovery was signed by the President. As passed, the bill authorizes, but does not fund, prevention, treatment, recovery and criminal justice programs and reforms.

“CARA must be funded for it to have a significant impact on the opioid epidemic, and additional funds are needed to expand access to treatment and recovery programs,” said Michael Miller, Chapter Coordinator, Young People In Recovery. “A minimum of $500 million in funding is needed this year alone to curb both the opioid epidemic and opioid overdoses.”

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of death from opioid-related overdose has quadrupled since 2000. Drug overdoses are the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, surpassing even traffic fatalities. And emergency room visits linked to misuse of prescription opioids are up by more than 50 percent since 2004.
For more information about the Coalition to Stop Opioid Overdose, please visit http://www.stopopioidoverdose.org/.

About the Coalition to Stop Opioid Overdose
The Coalition to Stop Opioid Overdose is an organization of more than 40 local, regional and national groups that are committed to advancing meaningful legislative and regulatory policies in response to the opioid epidemic. The Coalition seeks to address the U.S. opioid epidemic by engaging policy makers, public health leaders, chronic pain and addiction specialists, individuals in and seeking recovery and family members, so that legislation and policies get the support and funding needed.

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National Organizations Band Together to Ensure that Congress Passes Comprehensive Policies to Combat the U.S. Opioid Epidemic

The Coalition to Stop Opioid Overdose Launches to Advance Legislation that Will Address this Public Health Crisis

Washington, D.C., May 19, 2016 — More than 10 million Americans report misusing opioids. In response to this unprecedented and growing epidemic in the United States, the Coalition to Stop Opioid Overdose launched today, uniting diverse stakeholders around the common goal of achieving meaningful legislative solutions to address opioid misuse and overdose. The Coalition is composed of leading state and national groups that are committed to advancing meaningful legislative and regulatory policies.

Congress, the Administration, public health agencies and a number of state legislatures have taken important initial steps to combat the opioid epidemic. Last week the House passed 18 bills. In March, a wide-ranging bill was passed by the full Senate and the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) approved additional important legislation, which is pending before the full Senate. Now is the critical time to build on this progress and ensure that comprehensive legislation aimed at addressing opioid misuse, overdose and addiction is passed and funded appropriately, according to R. Corey Waller, MD, DFASAM, Chair of the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s Legislative Advocacy Committee.

“There remains an urgent need for simple and achievable prevention, treatment and recovery policies that can reduce opioid overdose,” says Dr. Waller. “Now is the time for us to come together as a unified group to ensure that Congress sends meaningful legislation to the President’s desk this year.”

The Coalition’s efforts will focus around five key strategies to combat the opioid epidemic:

  • Improving access to medication-assisted treatment for those with opioid addiction
  • Expanding availability of naloxone in health care settings and beyond
  • Implementing enhanced prescription drug monitoring programs that track the dispensing and prescribing of controlled substances
  • Raising the level of opioid prescriber education
  • Enacting the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act

Addiction is a chronic disease that too often goes untreated. More than half of Americans (56 percent) say that they or someone they know has misused, been addicted to, or died from prescription pain medications, according to a recent Kaiser Health Tracking Poll. When patients can’t access treatment and recovery support services, addiction can lead to disability or premature death.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of death from opioid-related overdose has quadrupled since 2000. Drug overdoses are the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, surpassing even traffic fatalities. And emergency room visits linked to misuse of prescription opioids are up by more than 50 percent since 2004.

“Emergency physicians see first-hand the devastating consequences of opioid misuse. We often pick up the pieces, from first-contact psychiatric care to acute resuscitation after overdose,” says Jay Kaplan, MD, FACEP, President of the American College of Emergency Physicians. “We need to do more to prevent these life-shattering, or even life-ending, events.”

The epidemic is compounded by the vast gap in access to opioid addiction treatment. There are three FDA-approved medications approved to treat opioid use disorder. Patients need access to all available options so they can find what works for them; however, current prescribing limits restrict access to one of these treatment options. Additionally, there is a lack of access to medication that can help prevent and reverse opioid overdose.

The Coalition held its inaugural meeting today at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center in Washington D.C. where speakers, including Dr. Kaplan, Justin Luke Riley, Advocate, Young People in Recovery and Yngvild Olsen, MD, MPH, Director at Large of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, discussed strategies for addressing the opioid epidemic.

The following organizations have joined the Coalition to date, including:

  • American Academy of PAs
  • American Association of Nurse Practitioners
  • American College of Emergency Physicians
  • American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • American Medical Student Association
  • American Society of Addiction Medicine
  • Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses
  • Facing Addiction
  • National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists
  • National Association of Social Workers
  • The Association of Recovery Schools
  • The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse
  • Young People in Recovery

For more information about the Coalition to Stop Opioid Overdose, please visit http://www.stopopioidoverdose.org/.

About the Coalition to Stop Opioid Overdose

The Coalition to Stop Opioid Overdose is an organization of state and national groups that are committed to advancing meaningful legislative and regulatory policies in response to the opioid epidemic. The Coalition seeks to address the U.S. opioid epidemic by engaging policy makers, public health leaders, chronic pain and addiction specialists, individuals in and seeking recovery and family members, so that legislation and policies get the support needed to pass Congress this year and become law.

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Financial support for the Coalition is provided by the following: Adapt Pharma, The American Society of Addiction Medicine, CleanSlate Centers, Indivior, Merck and Proove.