(Frankfort, Kentucky) April 23, 2018 – Matt Bevin, Governor of Kentucky, signs a proclamation declaring April 23rd-29th, 2018 National Addiction Treatment Week in Kentucky. 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 substance use disorder (SUD) in Kentucky are particularly evident. It is one of states hardest hit by the opioid epidemic, ranked fifth in the nation in drug overdose death rate by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There were estimated 1,419 drug overdose deaths in 2016, and the latest available data shows an average of 1,351 alcohol-related deaths per year in Kentucky, according to CDC studies.
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.
“We are thrilled and encouraged to be able to work alongside Governor Bevin and the legislature in providing affordable and accessible care,” said Mark Jorrisch, MD, DFASAM, President, Kentucky Society of Addiction Medicine. “Especially in a rural state like Kentucky, increasing patient access to quality care by qualifying more physicians in the addiction medicine subspecialty is critical to saving patients’ lives.”
To learn more about National Addiction Treatment Week, how to get involved, and 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 the Kentucky Society of Addiction Medicine
The Kentucky Society of Addiction Medicine is the state chapter of the American Society of Addiction Medicine representing over 150 physicians, clinicians, and other associated addiction medicine professionals throughout the state of Kentucky.
 Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2016). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. SMA 16-4984, NSDUH Series H-51). Retrieved from http://www.samhsa.gov/data/.
 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