Valley Hope President and CEO Pat George released the following statement today in response to President Donald Trump officially declaring the opioid epidemic a national public health emergency:
“Addiction treatment providers like Valley Hope are witnessing the devastating effects of opioids every day. We need every resource available to fight the opioid epidemic in the United States. I am hopeful that this declaration will allow more funding for medication-assisted treatment, which will provide better access to critical anti-overdose drugs like suboxone. More funding also can expand telehealth options, which can greatly help reach rural areas.
“This declaration should allow for better coordination between federal, state and local governments working with organizations like Valley Hope, as well as the medical and mental health communities, to help remove the continued public stigma of addiction. Those that need help with opioid addiction must be able to get help quickly.”
From 2007 to 2016, the number of patients admitted into Valley Hope treatment facilities for opioid addiction more than doubled from 12 to 29 percent. The average age of these patients decreased from 34 to 29 years old. In 18-25 age range, patients with opioid addiction dramatically increased from almost 30 percent to more than 51 percent.
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