National Level: Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis

At the first meeting of President Trump’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper urged common sense strategies for the federal government to help combat the opioid crisis. In North Carolina, unintentional opioid, heroin and fentanyl related deaths increased 816 percent from 1999 – 2015. Almost 12,000 North Carolinians have died from unintentional opioid overdoses since 1999. View video from the meeting at right:

Cooper stressed that Congress’ current efforts to roll back health care reforms could jeopardize efforts to stem the epidemic by taking away health care and substance abuse treatment from millions of Americans.
“We can’t arrest our way out of the opioid crisis. Too many people are going through a revolving door of emergency rooms into prison, and we must focus on prevention and treatment,” he said. “The opioid crisis is a complex problem, and solving it will require collaboration from law enforcement, doctors, drug makers and even families of users to work together. It costs our economy in work hours lost and it robs families of their health and security. I’m committed to doing whatever it takes to reverse the epidemic that is raging in too many communities across our state.”
The President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis is a bipartisan group chaired by Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey and includes Gov. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, and Professor Bertha Madras, PhD.

State Level: Opioid Misuse and Overdose Prevention Summit

The state’s Prescription Drug Abuse Advisory Council hosted a two-day Opioid Misuse and Overdose Prevention Summit at NC State University, attended by NCMS staff as well as by health care providers, law enforcement, medical administrators and other groups focused on addressing the opioid epidemic. During this summit, Governor Cooper rolled out North Carolina’s Opioid Action Plan, which sets ambitious goals, such as:

  • Coordinating the state’s infrastructure to tackle the opioid crisis.
  • Reducing the oversupply of prescription opioids.
  • Reducing the diversion of prescription drugs and the flow of illicit drugs.
  • Increasing community awareness and prevention.
  • Making naloxone widely available.
  • Expanding treatment and recovery systems of care.
  • Measuring the effectiveness of these strategies based on results.

Read more about the plan here: “Governor Cooper Announces Bold Action Plan to Turn the Tide of the Opioid Epidemic in North Carolina