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September 2017


Governor Cooper Declares September 2017
Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month in North Carolina

ASHEVILLE: Governor Roy Cooper today signed a proclamation declaring September 2017 Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month in North Carolina while visiting a local treatment center.

“Alcohol and drug addiction are complex public health and public safety problems, and it’s going to take collaborative effort to solve them,” Gov. Cooper said. “We need to make sure that people suffering from substance use disorders have access to affordable treatment to help them recover and be productive members of their communities.”

Before signing the proclamation, Gov. Cooper met with individuals who are recovering from substance use disorders and helped assemble Narcan kits, which are used to reverse life-threatening opioid drug overdoses.

Addiction is a growing problem in North Carolina, and opioid drug overdoses are on the rise. According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, more than 705,000 North Carolinians are currently living with substance use disorders, and more than 12,000 North Carolinians have died from opioid overdoses since 1999. In 2016, opioid-related deaths were up by 20 percent from the previous year.

To help more North Carolinians achieve and sustain long-term recovery, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services invites all residents of North Carolina to participate in National Recovery Month. In the proclamation, Gov. Cooper emphasized the importance of substance use disorder treatment and prevention. The proclamation also promotes the roles of friends and relatives in guiding and supporting individuals in need of treatment and recovery.

The proclamation is the latest in a series of actions Gov. Cooper has taken to address rising rates of drug addiction and overdose in North Carolina. In June, Gov. Cooper joined Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen to announce the new State Opioid Action Plan, which includes several strategies to reduce opioid misuse and overdose deaths. Gov. Cooper later signed into law the STOP Act, which seeks to curb epidemic levels of opioid drug addiction and overdose statewide.

Gov. Cooper also serves on the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, where he has urged his colleagues to help expand access to affordable substance use disorder treatment and mental health care nationwide.

The North Carolina Executive Mansion will be lit purple on September 1 and 2, 2017 in recognition of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month.

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Dear Rhonda,

Today is International Overdose Awareness Day. We all know someone who has suffered the ultimate loss. Our family, our friends, our neighbors, our children. Nobody is immune from the addiction crisis. Today is a day to remember, reflect, and speak out. Overdoses are preventable. We must do more.

This is indeed a national emergency. Several weeks ago, President Trump stated his intention to declare a national emergency around the opioid epidemic. Since his statement – NO NATIONAL EMERGENCY HAS BEEN DECLARED TO DATE.

Words are one thing, taking action is another. Action is what we need. Thank you for taking action and signing our letter to the President urging him to declare a national emergency. Please take this link and post it on your social media pages and urge your family and friends to sign as well! https://www.facingaddiction.org/a-national-emergency-declaration

What would a national emergency mean? It could open up various new funding streams from the federal government. It could mean increased access to medically assisted treatment. And it could loosen restriction on using Medicaid dollars to gain access to treatment.

Show the President that you are willing to do more than talk – show him and his administration that you are willing to act. Please, take a moment today and post the link to our letter urging President Trump to turn his words into action and officially declare this national emergency. Again, the link to post is https://www.facingaddiction.org/a-national-emergency-declaration.

Thank you for all that you do.

With warm regards,

Michael King
Director of Outreach & Engagement

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