Addiction Policy Forum Launches Pennsylvania Chapter to Help Families Impacted by Addiction

May 11, 2018 | Addiction Policy Forum
For Immediate Release                                                                                                                         Contact:      May 11, 2018                                                                                                                                    Casey Elliott                                                                                                                                                        (312) 860- 5353 
Addiction Policy Forum Launches Pennsylvania Chapter to Help Families Impacted by Addiction
State chair Dr. Christian Conte, mental health specialist, spearheads statewide efforts
Irwin, PA. – Today, the Addiction Policy Forum announces the launch of its Pennsylvania chapter, led by state chair Dr. Christian Conte, Irwin. The chapter will focus on helping families in crisis and expanding prevention, treatment and recovery across the state.

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. Pennsylvania has been hit hard by this epidemic. In 2016, the state saw more than 4,500 deaths from drug overdoses, and opioids accounted for 48 percent of those fatalities.

“Leaders and families in Pennsylvania  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 Pennsylvania saw a 44.1-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 Pennsylvania.”

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 Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvanians.

These efforts will be led by APF’s Pennsylvania  state chair, Dr. Christian Conte, who resides in Irwin.  Dr. Conte is one of the countries most accomplished mental health specialists in the field of anger and emotional management. He brings a unique energy, passion and sense of compassion when teaching people why they do what they do and how they can use that knowledge to transform their lives. Dr. Conte is passionate about helping those in front of him change and improve their lives.

“My mission is to help spread compassion and conscious education by teaching people how to improve their lives and communicate in the most effective way possible,” says Dr. Christian Conte. “Pennsylvania experienced a tremendous increase in deaths from overdoses. I’m excited to work with the Addiction Policy Forum to help Pennsylvanian residents impacted by addiction learn how to lead with compassion when dealing with this disease.”

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 Pennsylvania 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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