"The latest CDC drug overdose data is devastating and demands action; demands that we come together as a country to prevent and treat addiction with a healthcare response. Each of the 72,000 we lost in 2017 is a son, a daughter, a friend, a mom, brother, a sister. Our community of families and patients impacted by addiction at the Addiction Policy Forum have felt this alarming increase in overdose deaths personally, largely due to the increase of fentanyl contamination in substances of use.
When we started Addiction Policy Forum three years ago, the drug overdose death rate was 129 Americans each day; now we are at nearly 200 deaths each day. If we want to stem the tide of drug overdose deaths and help families and communities in crisis, it is imperative that we have evidence-based, comprehensive resources to address the disease of addiction -- from providing communities with data-backed prevention strategies to establishing best practices for emergency departments to respond to non-fatal overdoses to making naloxone for overdose reversal widely available and utilized. This crisis will not be solved overnight and now is the time for us to work together to ensure that these numbers drastically decrease in years to come."