Press Release: Addiction Policy Forum Launches National Substance Use Disorder Awareness & Action Campaign

January 11, 2018 | Addiction Policy Forum


174aDay Campaign Shines a Light on Lives Lost to Drug Overdose
Aims to Support Families and Stem the Tide of Overdose Deaths
Washington, January 11, 2018 – Today, the Addiction Policy Forum launched 174aDay, an awareness and action campaign based on the latest Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report showing that 174 lives were lost due to drug overdose every day in 2016 – a 21 percent increase over 2015. 174aDay provides families and friends with a platform to tell the stories of their loved ones lost to drug overdose. By bringing substance use disorders out of the shadows, the campaign empowers those struggling with the disease of addiction to seek support and treatment and compels community and national leaders to address the crisis. The campaign rebrands the Forum’s 129aDay and 144aDay campaigns, which were based on previous years’ CDC data and shared the goals of reducing the stigma of substance use disorders, supporting families and ultimately saving lives.
“It’s far past time we recognize addiction for the disease that it is and move beyond the stigma that enshrouds substance use disorders,” said Jessica Hulsey Nickel, president and chief executive officer of the Addiction Policy Forum. “We began this campaign two years ago – when the national number of lives lost to addiction was 129. That number has now increased by 35 percent. Our rebranded campaign, 174aDay, helps shine a bright light on the beautiful lives lost to addiction and gives voice to the families that have been affected. We encourage those who have lost someone to share their stories through the campaign so we can show local, state and national leaders the very real impact addiction has on our communities.”
In December, the CDC released its latest report on the impact of drug overdoses on American lives. The report showed that 63,600 people died of overdose deaths in 2016. Opioids contributed to more than 65 percent of the overall deaths. In 2015, 144 people died of a drug overdose each day.
“The drug overdose figures released by the CDC should give every American pause. The equivalent of nearly three sold-out 747s are dying every week due to drug overdoses,” said former U.S. Representative Alan Mollohan of West Virginia, who serves as chairman of the Addiction Policy Forum’s advisory board. “If we are going to make progress against this true national crisis, we must first understand the disease of addiction, empathize with those who are suffering and come together to fight it. 174aDay is an important part of the solution.”

The Addiction Policy Forum

The Addiction Policy Forum is a 501(c)3 established in 2015 as a diverse partnership of organizations, policymakers, and stakeholders committed to working together to elevate awareness around addiction, and to improve programs and policy through a comprehensive response that includes prevention, treatment, recovery, and criminal justice reform. Jessica Hulsey Nickel, whose own family was devastated by addiction, is the founder of a coalition of 1,700 families impacted by substance use disorders and is available for further explanation and interviews by media.

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Jay Ruais

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Topics: Press Release