(Bismarck, North Dakota) April 23, 2018 – Doug Burgum, Governor of North Dakota, signs proclamation declaring April 23rd-29th, 2018 National Addiction Treatment Week in North Dakota. 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 Dakota 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 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, we need to raise awareness that addiction is a disease, rather than a moral failure. Decreasing the stigma of the disease is essential to overcoming the opioid epidemic,” said Miriam Komaromy, MD, FACP, DFASAM, ASAM Regional Director, Region VIII. “Governor Burgum’s support of National Addiction Treatment Week reinforces ASAM’s dedication to expanding the addiction medicine workforce and ensuring that patients receive the quality care they need.”
National Addiction Treatment Week promotes that addiction is a disease, recovery is possible, and more clinicians need to enter the field of addiction medicine. Learn more on how to get involved and spread the word about the need for a larger addiction medicine workforce at 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.
 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