(Raleigh, North Carolina) April 23, 2018 – Roy Cooper, Governor of North Carolina, signs a proclamation declaring April 23rd-29th, 2018 National Addiction Treatment Week in North Carolina. 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 North Carolina are evident. According to Governor Cooper’s Office, “Opioid overdose has claimed more than 12,000 lives in North Carolina since 1999, with opioid-related overdoses deaths up more than 800 percent in the state through 2016.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), report that, in North Carolina, there were estimated 1,956 drug overdose deaths in 2016, and the latest available data shows an average of 2,761 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.
“We applaud Governor Cooper’s signing of the proclamation. Generating awareness that addiction is a disease and more clinicians need to be trained in addiction medicine is critical to saving patient lives,” said Paul Martin, MD, DFASAM, president of the North Carolina Society of Addiction Medicine (NCSAM). “National Addiction Treatment Week reinforces NCSAM’s dedication to reducing the stigma associated with the disease, helping physicians treat addiction, and ensuring that patients in North Carolina have access to the quality care they need.”
To learn more about National Addiction Treatment Week, how to get involved, and how you can 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,
 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