(Hartford, Connecticut) April 23, 2018 – Dannel Malloy, Governor of Connecticut, signs a proclamation declaring April 23rd-29th, 2018 National Addiction Treatment Week in Connecticut. 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 Connecticut and throughout the United States (US) are evident. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), from 1999 to 2016, more than 630,000 people have died from a drug overdose. Around 66% of the more than 63,600 drug overdose deaths in 2016 involved an opioid. On average, 115 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. The CDC reports that Connecticut ranked 11th in the nation with a drug overdose mortality rate of 27.4.
The significant treatment gap for addiction in the 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.
“Last week, the National Safety Council recognized Connecticut as one of the top 12 states in improving efforts to protect its residents from opioid overdose. We are pleased with the ongoing focus Governor Malloy has had on this epidemic. His support of National Addiction Treatment Week, will further community awareness that addiction is a disease, rather than a moral failure,” said J. Craig Allen, MD, president of the Connecticut Society of Addiction Medicine (CT-SAM). “Reducing the stigma and discrimination associated with the disease and training more clinicians in addiction medicine is crucial to saving lives. CT-SAM remains dedicated to helping physicians treat addiction and ensuring that patients in Connecticut 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.
The Connecticut Society of Addiction Medicine is the state chapter of the American Society of Addiction Medicine representing physicians, clinicians, and other associated addiction medicine professionals throughout the state of Connecticut.
 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