Washington (December 12, 2017) – Today, the Addiction Policy Forum announced several new initiatives to help millions of families in the United States struggling with opioid addiction and other substance use disorders. The programs put in motion key elements of the organization’s multi-year plan announced in October, Priorities to Address Addiction in America, which provides a comprehensive, action-oriented approach to addressing the growing opioid epidemic.
Developed by experts at the Addiction Policy Forum, the programs announced today will address the areas of prevention, recovery support, medical innovation, and healthcare system integration. Support from key partners, including a significant commitment from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), will enable the Forum to scale the initiatives nationwide.
“We hear all too often that families and community leaders don’t know where to turn for services that can help loved ones who are in crisis – or prevent the crisis from happening in the first place,” said Jessica Hulsey Nickel, president and chief executive officer of the Addiction Policy Forum. “By working closely to families and experts in the field, we’re creating localized resources and evidence-based tools that will make a real difference in addressing substance use disorders. We are grateful to all of our partner organizations for their ongoing commitment to this important issue.”
The programs introduced today by Addiction Policy Forum include:
The Addiction Resource Center: This online portal will be a comprehensive resource to assist patients and their loved ones with substance use disorders. The new platform, with support from the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation, will guide patients through a validated self-assessment tool, help them develop a proposed treatment plan, and provide a guide to reliable, evidence-based information about resources in their local area. Initially, the Forum will host a database of local resources in Ohio, Maryland and Minnesota. Over the coming months, new states will be added so that more and more Americans suffering with substance use disorder will have a place to turn for help.
Prevention Initiative: Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) and the Addiction Policy Forum will create and distribute educational kits and essential resources on prevention as well as prescription drug disposal and misuse. With more than 5,000 community coalitions throughout the country and a track record of helping create drug-free communities globally, CADCA is uniquely positioned to disseminate evidence-based prevention resources to scope and scale nationally.
Emergency Medicine Initiative: The Addiction Policy Forum will work with hospitals to develop tools to support effective post-overdose interventions. This project will ensure that health systems have the necessary protocols, assessment tools, and linkages between care and follow-up to turn an overdose into an opportunity for intervention and connection with treatment and recovery. Pilots underway with Mercy Health Systems and Berger Hospital in Ohio will produce open-source tools and protocols necessary to support emergency departments across the country in implementing interventions to help patients who overdose.
Research to Find a Cure: Together with our partners such as Faces & Voices of Recovery, the Addiction Policy Forum will launch the Addiction Science Initiative: Advancing Treatment and Recovery. This initiative will raise funds to support research by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)* on treatment and recovery from substance use disorders, including opioid use disorder.
Recovery Initiative: The Forum will work with national partner Faces & Voices of Recovery to support the growth of statewide recovery community organizations across all 50 states and to enhance recovery support throughout the nation.
“Taken together, the programs and partnerships announced today by the Addiction Policy Forum represent the most comprehensive, direct approach to the opioid crisis in America to date,” said Gen. Barry McCaffrey, advisory board chair for the Addiction Policy Forum and former Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. “The 21 million Americans who are living with the disease of addiction need our help urgently – there is simply no more time to waste. By welcoming all stakeholders to the table and focusing on action over rhetoric, we can have a lasting impact on this crisis.”
In the coming months, the Addiction Policy Forum will roll out additional initiatives that build on its efforts to implement a comprehensive response to addiction, including a partnership with the National Association for Children of Addiction (NACoA) to assist children who are impacted by addiction. In addition, the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA) and Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC) Illinois will work with the Forum to improve the criminal justice response to substance use disorders. A partnership with Young People in Recovery (YPR) will assist in linking individuals to age-appropriate recovery support services. Further, the Forum will engage the Legal Action Center to expand awareness and understanding of substance use treatment insurance coverage parity requirements, and to support advocacy efforts to improve compliance with the law.
Programs are also in development to significantly enhance crisis support services with Live4Lali and to provide medical professionals with ongoing education about the identification and treatment of substance use disorders.
A copy of the Addiction Policy Forum’s comprehensive 8-point plan can be found here.
Link to original press release here.
The Addiction Policy Forum
The Addiction Policy Forum is a 501(c)3 established in 2015 as a diverse partnership of organizations, policymakers, and stakeholders committed to working together to elevate awareness around addiction, and to improve programs and policy through a comprehensive response that includes prevention, treatment, recovery, and criminal justice reform. Jessica Hulsey Nickel, whose own family was devastated by addiction, is the founder of a coalition of 1,700 families impacted by substance use disorders and is available for further explanation and interviews by media.
*NIDA does not participate in the business affairs, lobbying, or fundraising activities of the Addiction Policy Forum, or any other organization.