Last week, hundreds of families impacted by addiction participated in the third annual APF Family Day and the Addiction Policy Forum Awards Dinner.
In an interview with Tim Farley from The Morning Briefing (POTUS) on Sirius XM Radio, Jessica Hulsey Nickel discussed the mission of Addiction Policy Forum, the purpose of APF Family Day, her experience working in the field for over 27 years and more.
“I’ve been doing this work for 27 years now; I lost both my parents who struggled with heroin use disorder, so I’ve committed my time and energy to helping other families who are affected by this disease,” Jessica explained when asked why she began working in the field. “(APF Family Day) is about bringing all of us together to have a voice to demand more treatments and better resources to fight this disease.”
Tim asked Jessica to elaborate on the addiction issues in our country, to which she replied, “This is about all addiction - most people don’t use (just) one substance, and it progresses differently for every person. Our number one misused substance in this country is alcohol. We lose so many more people to alcohol-related deaths every day than we do to drug overdoses, so we have to keep our eye on the entire landscape of stopping addiction when it starts - to intervene, like I said, early - but also make sure that we don’t focus on just the drug du jour, the drug of the day, that everyone is focused on. We have 15 million people in this country that are struggling with alcohol use disorder and we have about 2.6 million that are struggling with opioid addiction. So we need to make sure that we’re getting the care to all of our patients that need help.”
Jessica also discussed the causes of addiction, how attitudes around addiction have changed over the past decades, APF’s reasoning for nominating Senator Whitehouse and Leader McCarthy as Legislators of the Year, and more.