STATE OF AFFAIRS: RALLY PLANNED IN WASHINGTON, D.C. TO END SILENCE ON AMERICA’S ADDICTION
State Ranked 2nd Drunkest in the Nation
WASHINGTON, D.C. – With the 4th of July once again upon us, this week we take a focus on our proud nation’s capitol. It is the place where laws are made. It is the home of our leaders. And it is the place where people converge to rally their voices together in the hopes of igniting change. But with a population of less than 700,000, the District of Columbia ranks 21st in the nation for drug overdose deaths.
As a matter of fact: the drug overdose rate in Washington, D.C. is higher than the motor vehicle fatality rate, and a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control ranked the District 2nd in the nation for heavy alcohol consumption.
Crack cocaine and heroin continue to be the top drug problems in the state, with 14% of people arrested testing positive for cocaine and 7% testing positive for opiates. The state has worked to combat the issues, enacting needle exchange programs, distributing naloxone and adopting the popular Good Samaritan Law, which allows distribution of naloxone to people suspecting someone of heroin use, and helps protect those seeking medical attention who are under the influence of or have drugs in their possession.
The Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD), which works to divert criminal punishment for low-level drug offenses in our nation’s failed war on drugs, met just this week in the District, hoping to reform criminal drug laws to send less people to jail and more people into treatment. The organization So Others Might Eat works to provide food for the District’s growing hungry population, and also works to provide addiction treatment services for those in need.
But a new rally planned for October 4 in the District hopes to break the silence on America’s addiction. The group UNITE to Face Addiction is organizing people from all over the nation to stand up for recovery, and educate our nation that addiction is a preventable and treatable disease. The rally will be held on the National Mall and will have local state and national agencies participating. The non-profit consists of leaders in the addiction community from all over the nation, and hopes to change the face of addiction.
We are aware the problems in D.C. are the same problems facing our nation. Prescription painkillers and heroin have devoured our nation state by state for far too long. Vertava Health is determined to take America’s quiet epidemic on by breaking its silence and getting treatment to as many people as possible. If you or someone you know is battling this epidemic, call our 24-hour hotline at 1.888.614.2251.