Advocate for Change

Based on our decades of research and expertise, we know know what needs to be done to effectively respond to the addiction crisis, but we can’t do it alone. While data is essential, the individuals and families who have been impacted bring the issue of addiction to life. Their stories change hearts and minds. Join the community of other advocates who are breaking down barriers and working to transform how our nation addresses addiction. Together, we can do this.

Discover all the ways you can take action now.

Make Your Voice Heard

We use our data and expertise to identify priorities for changing how our nation addresses addiction. When Congress introduces legislation that aligns with these priorities we will provide you an opportunity to make your voice heard.

Please take a moment to send letters to your members of Congress on these addiction-related pieces of legislation. All it takes is entering your name, address, and email!

Provide resources for families impacted by addiction

Families impacted by addiction are often excluded from or not considered in addiction care, and supports for family members are often lacking and underfunded. Addiction affects not just individuals, but entire families, and policies should provide funding and support to ensure families are included alongside those with substance use disorder.

Support an early and broad approach to substance use prevention

An early and broad approach to prevention promotes healthy youth development and resilience, supports youth mental health, addresses social determinants of health that are risk factors for substance use, and starts in early childhood when the seeds of risk and resilience are planted.

Protect youth from the harms associated with legal addictive substances

This includes reducing youth tobacco and nicotine use and protecting youth from the harms associated with the commercialization of marijuana.

Expand access to quality addiction care

Policies should reduce federal legal and regulatory barriers to medications for opioid use disorder, integrate addiction treatment into the mainstream health care system, and improve access to treatment in the criminal legal system.

Make treatment affordable

In order for treatment to be affordable for patients, there must be improved compliance with and enforcement of federal parity requirements and strengthened requirements for health plans to cover substance use disorder benefits.

Prevent overdoses and save lives

Harm reduction is an essential component of a comprehensive public health approach to the addiction crisis. Policies should promote strategies shown to improve the health, safety, and well-being of those who use substances and reduce barriers to tools such as naloxone, syringe services, and test strips.

Implement and support a public health approach

A public health approach to the addiction crisis is supported by decades of research. Financial investments, infrastructure supports, and other structural changes are needed to implement such an approach.

Reduce racial disparities in addiction policies

BIPOC communities have been disproportionality harmed by the criminalization of substance use and have inequitable access to quality prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery services. Policies must work to reduce these disparities and ensure care is available for all.

Reduce stigma and raise public awareness about addiction and emerging threats

The long-standing framing of addiction as a moral issue has contributed to a high level of stigma against substance use, addiction, and addiction treatment. Stigma contributes to ineffective policies and harms individuals and families impacted by substance use. Education to increase awareness about addiction and emerging threats such as synthetic opioids is needed to reduce stigma and harm.

Ready to do more?

What does it mean to be an advocate? Our toolkit provides step-by-step instructions, including tips for building relationships and effectively communicating with lawmakers. We are building a movement to transform how our nation addresses addiction, and we need your voice!

In case you missed it, view our Introduction to Advocacy webinar.

Your story can spark change

Nearly half of all Americans have a family member or close friend with addiction. This issue affects so many more people than most realize.

We know the science and the statistics, but what motivates change are stories of real people. Your stories. We’ll help you find your voice.