Blog

We have all heard the statistic (I hope) – approximately 108,000 people died from an overdose last year. That represents a 15 percent increase in deaths from overdoses in 2021. Alarms should be ringing all over the country thinking about this. It is not the case so much that more Americans are using drugs; rather, the supply of drugs in illegal street markets is becoming more and more deadly due to the illegally manufactured fentanyl, an inexpensive and highly potent synthetic opioid. Fentanyl is not only in bags labeled as heroin but also pressed into pill form and masked as prescription medication and other drugs that...
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More than 100,000 people die of preventable overdoses annually. Health insurers must stop denying insurance coverage to those who need it most. I’m no stranger to being told “no” by health insurance companies that are supposed to have my back. Back in 2014, my addiction to heroin had taken everything from me. It was quickly chipping away at every aspect of my life—most notably, my health. I couldn’t afford to keep a roof over my head or even have a simple meal once a day, much less pay thousands of dollars out of pocket to my insurance company, but that didn’t seem...
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What is advocacy? By definition, advocacy involves promoting the interests or cause of a group of people and helping them find their voice while effecting positive change. So, what is an advocate? Anyone can be an advocate, and so many people already are advocating and may not realize it. An advocate is a person who supports a cause or policy and there are so many ways to advocate within a system with so many opportunities for meaningful change. Anyone can create positive change by taking action and advocating for themselves or others at many different levels. In the advocacy world,...
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America’s very first National Fentanyl Awareness Day is upon us and it couldn’t happen any sooner. On May 10, a broad coalition of medical experts, nonprofits, corporations, and recovery activists such as myself, will come together and raise awareness about the key driver of overdose deaths in America: fentanyl. The powerful synthetic opioid sold on the street is responsible for the biggest surge in overdose deaths in American history, and is currently the leading cause of death for Americans aged 18 to 45. More than 100,000 people died from drug overdoses in the past year alone, the most overdose deaths...
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Mobilize Recovery 2022 is now live! We’re excited to join nearly two dozen cross sector partners from across the country to bring the 2022 initiative both online and into communities through two unique opportunities to engage with. Mobilize Recovery is an initiative of the Recovery Advocacy Project and the Voices Project. Its mission is to expand policy to support substance use disorder recovery, create connections to supportive services that are vital and lifesaving, and to engage affected individuals in meaningful community action. We encourage you to visit mobilizerecovery.org to learn more—and to find out how you can get involved today!...
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The Justice Department’s declaration that people recovering from opioid use disorder are legally protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act marks a critical step in lifting stigmas and encouraging them to seek treatment, addiction specialists say. People recovering from opioid use disorder and not illegally using drugs are protected from health-care, employment, and other discrimination under DOJ guidance announced Tuesday. It’s part of a broader agency push to cut down on barriers for individuals in treatment and comes amid an all-time high for overdoses. The DOJ’s guidance “doesn’t change the law but it does send a message that DOJ will enforce the law,” said...
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Substance use disorder, commonly known as addiction, affects one in three households in the U.S. That’s one-third of all American families. Approximately 28 million individuals currently live with a highly treatable, but also highly stigmatized mental health disorder. What do all these people have in common? They work. And many continue to face antiquated, discriminatory practices that consider addiction a moral failing. According to a report from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, people who work in the trade industries are most impacted by substance use disorder. Construction workers were involved in almost a quarter of overdose deaths recorded in the state over...
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About two dozen opioid victims aired grievances directly to three members of the Sackler family in a virtual hearing last week. When a bankruptcy judge approved a reorganization plan for Purdue Pharma last year, an accompanying provision shielded the Sackler family owners from legal liability. That clause, in effect, denied victims of the opioid epidemic their day in court. But last Thursday, about two dozen of those victims got a chance to air their grievances directly to three of the Sacklers. And they didn’t hold back, telling of incalculable loss suffered by them or their loved ones from physician-prescribed OxyContin...
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For those suffering with depression and suicide ideation, or if someone you know is struggling, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or find them online at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org. For two decades, drug overdose deaths and suicides have been rising across the United States, exposing tragic gaps in mental and behavioral health care in the years before the coronavirus pandemic, according to new federal research. From 2001 to 2019, intentional overdoses increased most steeply among the nation’s youngest generations, oldest generations and Black women, researchers found. And experts agreed these rates were very likely undercounts. Published in the American Journal of Psychiatry in...
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Sweeping social change often begins as a ripple in quiet places: conversations around the kitchen table, in church basements, on school campuses, and the like. For the recovery movement, conversations between concerned family members, teachers, rehab counselors, emergency medical technicians and street medics, and many others who are part of recovery community organizations are helping undertake a massive shift in the perception of addiction in the U.S. Recovery community organizations (RCOs) are independent, non-profit organizations led and governed by representatives of communities of recovery. RCOs organize recovery-focused activities, carry out recovery-focused community education and outreach programs, and/or provide recovery support...
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