Today, April 24, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio, John Kasich, Governor of Ohio, signed a proclamation declaring April 23rd-29th, 2018 Addiction Treatment Week in Ohio. National Addiction Treatment Week, an initiative by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), raises awareness that addiction is a disease, evidence-based treatments are available, and recovery is possible.

The adverse effects of the opioid epidemic and addiction in Ohio are evident. In 2016, Ohio had the second highest drug overdose death rate (39.1*) in the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).[1]  The Ohio Department of Health reported that “unintentional drug overdoses caused the deaths of 4,050 Ohio residents [in 2016], a 32.8 percent increase compared to 2015 when there were 3,050 overdose deaths.[2]” The latest available data shows an average of 3,288 alcohol-related deaths per year in the state.[3]

The significant treatment gap for addiction in the United States (US) is an important part of the epidemic. Nearly 20.5 million Americans suffer from a substance use disorder (SUD), yet only 1 in 10 people with SUD receive treatment.[4] In 2015, nearly 2.3 million Americans suffered from opioid use disorder, yet there was only enough treatment capacity to treat 1.4 million people[5], leaving a treatment gap of nearly 1 million people.

Addiction Treatment Week Logo

“We applaud Governor Kasich’s proclamation of Addiction Treatment Week and his continued efforts to combat an epidemic that is without precedent in Ohio.  Generating awareness that addiction is a disease, rather than a moral failure, is a crucial step to saving lives,” said Shawn Ryan, MD, FASAM, president of the Ohio Society of Addiction Medicine (OHSAM). “Given the high rate of drug overdose deaths in our state, we must all work together to increase patients’ access to evidence-based addiction treatments.  OHSAM is committed to helping physicians treat addiction and reduce the barriers to successful treatment and recovery.”

To learn more about National Addiction Treatment Week, how to get involved, and how to spread the word about the need for a larger addiction medicine workforce, visit

Original announcement here.

* The number of deaths per 100,000 population [1] [2] 2016 Ohio Drug Overdose Data: General Findings [3][4] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of the Surgeon General, Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health. Washington, DC: HHS, November 2016. CH 4-2 [5]