(Olympia, Washington) April 20, 2018 – Jay Inslee, Governor of Washington, signs a proclamation declaring April 23rd-29th, 2018 National Addiction Treatment Week in Washington. 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 Washington are evident. According to the Governor’s Office, “the opioid epidemic kills two people a day on average in the state.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), report that, in Washington, there were estimated 1,102 drug overdose deaths in 2016, and the latest available data shows an average of 1,981 alcohol related deaths per year.
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. 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, leaving a treatment gap of nearly 1 million people.
“In order to save lives and increase patient access to quality care in Washington, we need to raise awareness that addiction is a disease, rather than a moral failure,” said Mark Murphy, MD, president of the Washington Society of Addiction Medicine (WSAM). “Governor Inslee’s support of National Addiction Treatment Week reinforces WSAM’s dedication to reducing the stigma associated with the disease, helping physicians treat addiction, and ensuring that Washingtonians have access to the quality care they need.”
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 www.TreatAddictionSaveLives.org.
The American Society of Addiction Medicine, founded in 1954, is a professional society representing over 5,000 physicians, clinicians, and associated professionals in the field of addiction medicine. ASAM is dedicated to increasing access and improving the quality of addiction treatment, educating physicians and the public, supporting research and prevention, and promoting the appropriate role of physicians in the care of patients with addiction. For more information visit www.ASAM.org.
About Washington Society of Addiction Medicine
The Washington Society of Addiction Medicine is the state chapter of the American Society of Addiction Medicine representing over 115 physicians, clinicians, and other associated addiction medicine professionals throughout the state of Washington.
 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