Today, as we announce our new name, Partnership to End Addiction, and launch a new website to serve our communities, I am reminded of the work that we do every day. Our decades of experience, combined with escalating needs driven by recent events in our nation and the world, fortify our resolve to eradicate substance addiction and save lives. We know that there are reasons for optimism and paths to sustained change. Now is the moment for us to embrace action, keeping four truths in mind.
1. Addiction is a preventable, treatable disease for which effective care exists. Because most people do not know it exists or cannot access it, we must focus on advancing quality addiction care so that everyone who needs help can get help – in treatment, recovery or prevention.
2. Addiction is not a moral failing. We must remind people that they are loved, there is no place for blame, and there is help. Compassion and empathy, when combined with scientific solutions, will save lives and end addiction as we know it.
3. Addiction is a public health issue; in fact, a public health crisis. We must acknowledge that 400 deaths a day is a crisis deserving of our attention. When laws and resources evolve to address this public health issue, we will dramatically improve how well we prevent and treat addiction for millions of people.
4. When families are engaged, the odds of success increase dramatically. We must enable families to find answers and make a difference by serving, supporting, and partnering with them. Empowered with tools and skills, family members can positively impact the lives of their loved ones and advocate for policy and culture change.
Partnership to End Addiction is a single organization working toward systemic and lasting change for those impacted by addiction. But ending the nation’s addiction crisis will take more than a well-crafted statement, more than informed resolve. It will require all of us, working together, raising our voices, to ensure proper care, understanding, and support for those who are suffering.