CLEVELAND, Ohio (July 21, 2016) – Facing Addiction, a national non-profit demanding solutions in the addiction crisis, rolled out an action plan Wednesday to combat the addiction crisis while holding a caucus at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. The nonprofit, launched last October at a rally in Washington, D.C. that Vertava Health attended and streamed LIVE on Periscope and Twitter, works to end the silence around addiction and address the most pressing health crisis of our time. “It provides a detailed road map for how we will continue the vitally important work of helping the 45 million Americans and their families directly impacted by addiction, as well as the tens of millions more who someday could or will be impacted,” says National Director of Outreach and Management Michael King. Key points of the plan include a push for the final passage and for the President to sign the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act in the Executive Branch after its approval from Congress. The Act (CARA), is the first major piece of addiction legislation to pass Congress in almost 40 years, and is headed to the President’s desk for signature. It is the most comprehensive effort undertaken to address the opioid epidemic, encompassing 6 pillars necessary for a comprehensive response – prevention, treatment, recovery, law enforcement, criminal justice reform and overdose reversal. The action plan also includes the humanization of addiction for both those afflicted and affected by collecting and publicizing real stories of individuals and families from all walks of life, and educating communities on the current science surrounding addiction. A third part of the action plan is reforming public safety responses by developing national, state and local training programs on addiction and recovery for criminal and juvenile justice professionals such as police officers, prosecutors, correctional officers and judges. This is intended to generate the most appropriate referrals, placements and charging decisions for those who are on the front lines. It also includes a drafting of federal legislation that would require all federal reentry programs to include consideration of substance use disorders issues to link those battling addiction with recovery community resources. The plan also includes a dramatic expansion of prevention, screening and early intervention. The group will spread awareness and early intervention efforts in primary care/pediatricians, educational settings, urgent care settings and health clinics. The group will also advocate for a Pathways to Recovery Research agenda from the National Institutes of Health (NIDA/NIAAA), and continue an ongoing campaign to expand federal support of funding for access to Recovery Support Services. Also on the agenda is a call for a full 50-state implementation of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act action plans that require private insurers to provide health services for addiction at parity with services they offer for other health conditions. They will also advocate and track the expansion of medical schools with curriculum focused on identifying and treating addiction. In addition to releasing the new action plan, the group kicked off an educational Caucus for Addiction Solutions live from Cleveland during the Republican National Convention. Next Tuesday, they will be hosting the same educational caucus at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
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