Addiction Policy Forum Launches Nevada Chapter to Help Nevada Families Impacted by the Opioid Crisis

April 23, 2018 | Addiction Policy Forum
For Immediate Release                                                                                                                         Contact:      April 23, 2018                                                                                                                                    Casey Elliott
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Addiction Policy Forum Launches Nevada Chapter to Help Nevada Families Impacted by the Opioid Crisis
State Chair Joe Engle Will Spearhead Statewide Efforts

Las Vegas, Nev., April 23, 2018 — The Addiction Policy Forum (APF) announced today the launch of its Nevada chapter, led by state chair Joe Engle (Las Vegas). The chapter will focus on helping families in crisis and expanding prevention, treatment and recovery across Nevada.

More than 21 million Americans are suffering from addiction. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that 174 lives were lost daily to drug overdose in 2016—the equivalent of a plane crash every day. In 2016, Nevada saw more than 665 deaths from drug overdoses, and opioids accounted for 61 percent of those fatalities .

“Leaders and families in Nevada have done a tremendous amount of work to address addiction in communities throughout the state, and we applaud their efforts,” said Jessica Hulsey Nickel, president and chief executive officer of the Addiction Policy Forum. “Earlier this year, we learned that 63,600 people died of a drug overdose nationwide in 2016, and Nevada saw a 6.4-percent increase in overdose deaths from 2015 to 2016. It is clear more services, treatment and support are needed to help those struggling with substance use disorder. We look forward to working with a broad group of stakeholders to stem the tide of addiction in Nevada.”

APF understands the need to provide families throughout the country with better resources as well as to help communities develop and implement targeted solutions to address the impact of substance use disorder. The Nevada chapter will work on education, prevention, treatment, recovery, overdose reversal and criminal justice issues to ensure the full spectrum of solutions is being deployed. The chapter will engage a wide range of stakeholders to create specific action plans, initiate new collaborations and deploy additional localized resources for the direct benefit of all Nevada residents.

These efforts will be led by APF’s Nevada state chair, Joe Engle, who resides in Spanish Oaks. Joe Engle is a person in long term recovery, a father to four sons (three of whom are living). Joe has been a member of Local Union 357 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers for 17 years and has worked with local contractor, S.A.F.E Electronics, for 16 years as a senior technician. After the loss of Joe’s oldest son, Reese, in 2011 to a heroin overdose, it became apparent to him that he wanted to help other families that are suffering from the tragedies that accompany addiction. This lead him to start the Las Vegas chapter of There is No Hero in Heroin.

“I hope to help ensure that no other family has to go through what I went through in losing my son Reese,” Joe says. “Organizing efforts in Nevada to expand outreach and resources is a great step in ending this epidemic in our communities, and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

APF’s eight strategic priorities include:

  • Help Families in Crisis: Provide new, effective resources and support for patients and families in crisis.

  • Expand Treatment Access and Integration into Healthcare: Through partnerships and research, develop resources, protocols and tools for physicians, healthcare systems and the workforce to integrate treatment of substance use disorders into healthcare.

  • Drive Discovery: Invest in research on how to treat, prevent and cure addiction and its related disorders.

  • Expand Recovery Support: Properly prioritize and secure resources for the recovery support programs that individuals need in their communities.

  • Prevention: Increase funding for and the number of prevention programs in Nevada and nationwide.

  • Protect Children Impacted by Parental Substance Use Disorder: Expand resources to support children who have a family member with a substance use disorder.

  • Reframe the Criminal Justice System: Partner with key stakeholders to re-envision how the criminal justice system responds to addiction.

  • Advocate and Educate: Intensify the urgency around addiction and mobilize bold action through advocacy and engagement.

About Addiction Policy Forum
The Addiction Policy Forum is a 501(c)(3) organization 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.
More information on our mission and projects is available at  


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