Statement from Anne Woodbury, Executive Director of Advocates for Opioid Recovery

Today’s speech by President Trump was a moment for our country to come together and agree that combating the greatest public health crisis of our generation – the opioid overdose epidemic – should be one of America’s most pressing priorities.

We agree with the President: it is tragic and shameful that 175 lives are lost every day in America due to overdoses, and a concerted effort on the part of federal, state, and local governments is critical. Declaring a national state of emergency, ending the outdated law that discriminates against Medicaid beneficiaries receiving inpatient recovery treatment, and expanding the use of medication assisted treatment should allow the Administration and Congress to put party politics aside, as Advocates for Opioid Recovery’s advisors have, to come together around evidence-based prevention and recovery efforts.

At the same time, there is much work to be done and real action must follow today’s bold words.

Like everyone, we are anxious to see the recommendations of the White House Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis and are even more interested to see how the President and Congress respond to those recommendations. Advocates for Opioid Recovery, led by our advisors former Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy, and civil rights activist Van Jones, believes that any set of recommendations – including what the President ultimately adopts – must include evidence-based tactics such as embracing medication assisted treatment, which is proven to be the most effective treatment modality for helping people with opioid addiction enter long-term recovery.

We look forward to continuing our work with the Administration, and all who are willing to join us, to put an end to this tragedy.

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