Blog

The U.S. faces an unprecedented surge of drug deaths, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting another grim milestone this week. In a single 12-month period, fatal overdoses claimed 101,623 lives. But researchers and drug policy experts say the grim toll obscures an important and hopeful fact: Most Americans who experience alcohol and drug addiction survive. They recover and go on to live full and healthy lives. “This is really good news I think and something to share and be hopeful about,” said Dr. John Kelly, who teaches addiction medicine at Harvard Medical School and heads the Recovery...
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(published by the American Medical Association) As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to devastate families and communities across the U.S., we cannot ignore that illicit fentanyl is fueling the nation’s drug overdose epidemic and primarily responsible for the deaths of more than 100,000 people last year alone. Unless policymakers take action in 2022 to update rules and laws that are enabling our worsening overdose epidemic, more Americans will die, and more families will suffer preventable tragedies. The stakes are high. Drug-overdose deaths are an epidemic in the U.S., touching virtually every state. About 60% of those deaths in the past year are linked...
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Dear Friends, We’re just about to close out 2021. And as we get ready to ring in 2022, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on our purpose and double down on our commitment to do our part to end the American overdose crisis. Amidst a national crisis that claimed over 100,000 lives to preventable overdoses last year, the Voices Project was grateful to partner with the the Clinton Foundation, the Sandgaard Foundation, and Direct Relief International on the newly formed Overdose Response Initiative. The goal of this multi-year initiative is to distribute free life-saving naloxone to communities in need, people who use drugs, and those most...
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Over the last 25 years, Stephen M. Taylor, MD, MPH, has treated countless people with substance-use disorder and other addiction illnesses. But he has never treated an “addict.” There’s no such thing as an addict, said Dr. Taylor, who serves as chief medical officer at Pathway Healthcare’s Behavioral Health Division in Birmingham, Alabama. “There is such a thing as a person with the illness of addiction or a person with a substance-use disorder.” The American Medical Association (AMA) has addressed this matter head-on, outlining the ways in which physicians should convey respect to patients, and changing the words they use...
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More than 100,000 people died over a 12-month period from fatal drug overdoses for the first time in U.S. history, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. “To all those families who have mourned a loved one and to all those people who are facing addiction or are in recovery: you are in our hearts,” President Biden said in a statement issued by the White House. “Together, we will turn the tide on this epidemic.” “This tragic milestone represents an increase of 28.5%” over the same period just a year earlier, said Dr. Deb Houry with...
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While Americans were paralyzed by the global pandemic, a second killer was quietly taking lives: drug overdose. In the 12-month period ending March 2021, overdose rates in the United States hit an all-time record. As a person in recovery from opioid addiction who works with some of our most vulnerable at risk of an overdose, I constantly ask myself: how did we get to this point? Over the past year, I’ve buried a half dozen people close to me who died a preventable death. I didn’t need to see the headlines to know that we’re hitting another grim milestone. Even...
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Reported drug overdose deaths in the United States hit a new high of more than 96,000 in the 12-month period ending March 2021, according to data released this month by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. In that 12 months — a period when Covid-19 pandemic took hold in the United States and shut down normal daily routines — the US saw 96,779 reported drug overdose deaths, an increase of 29.6% from March 2020 to March 2021. The numbers released earlier this month are provisional data, as drug overdose deaths require “lengthy investigation”...
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This year’s Mobilize Recovery event was the third annual conference for recovery advocates across the United States. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the national advocacy event was a hybrid event, making it the largest and most accessible training to date. Over 300 advocates attended in person, while nearly 1,000 participants logged in to network, share skills, and cultivate community. The conference was hosted by the world-class Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino and supported by Nevada’s public health department, ensuring that participants would stay healthy and safe. The Voices Project-created event was sponsored by Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Serve You...
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On Sept. 26, 2019, the Department of Justice appointed me to serve on the Official Unsecured Creditors Committee in the bankruptcy case against Purdue Pharma, the company that helped fuel the opioid overdose crisis through the misbranding and reckless marketing of the powerful painkiller OxyContin. The committee acted as a mega-plaintiff, with broad powers to subpoena records, take depositions and cross-examine witnesses. For nearly two years, I attended countless negotiations, depositions and chambers meetings. I read thousands of pages of confidential documents revealing the true nature and depth of Purdue’s liability in the crisis. The proceedings came to a close...
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Macklemore, KT Tunstall, Evvie McKinney, Daphne Willis and The Residency will perform at a concert next month to help raise awareness around addiction and recovery. The “Recover Out Loud” concert will be pre-taped at Las Vegas’ Westgate Resort & Casino before streaming on iHeart’s Facebook and YouTube channels on International Recovery Day on Sept. 30. The event also caps off this year’s National Recovery Month. “The twin pandemics of drug overdose and COVID-19, combined with millions struggling with mental health, makes it imperative and urgent for influencers, policymakers, and corporations with global reach to come together in support of solutions through the...
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