According to Dr. Robert R. Redfield, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “this epidemic is the public health crisis of our time – and we are losing far too many Americans each day from opioid overdoses.” Here are some statistics to demonstrate the severity of the opioid epidemic:
- In the United States, it has been estimated that more than 130 die every day from overdosing on opioids.
- The rate of synthetic opioid overdoses increased 113% each year from 2013 to 2016.
- Between July 2016 through September 2017, opioid overdoses increased 30% in 52 areas in 45 states.
Since 2013, A-G Associates has supported events that brought policy-makers, subject matter experts, grant providers, students and Medical professionals together to discuss important topics in Behavioral Health. One of the most urgent concerns is combatting the opioid epidemic.
Under our contract with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), A-G has played a significant role in contributing to the federal response for targeted populations. For example:
- In August 2018, A-G provided technical and logistical support for the Tribal State-Policy Academy which was held in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This purpose of the Academy was to establish a collaborative relationship between the state government officials and tribal community representatives in 15 states. Each team, with direction from their facilitators, brainstormed for two days to develop ideas and goal-specific action plans that would be utilized to implement new strategies to combat opioid use disorders in their communities.
- In September 2018, A-G organized the Caring for Pregnant + Parenting Women with Opioid Use Disorder and Their Infants Conference in Charleston, West Virginia. The conference convened stakeholders from the medical community, social work, law enforcement, and the judicial system to develop strategies aimed at combatting opioid use disorders of pregnant and parenting women.
- One of the most relevant topics impacting our communities is the HIV/AIDS epidemic. A-G played a vital role in gathering grantees for the SAMHSA TCE-HIV Meeting. This meeting addressed the importance of the grantees and their role in addressing and reducing the effect of substance use disorders (SUDs), co-occurring mental health disorders, and HIV/Hepatitis impacting individuals in their communities. In addition, grantees received training on the usage of the HIV Care Continuum.
- A-G has also supported SAMHSA’s annual September Recovery Month Meeting which assembles individuals in recovery to identify key substance abuse and mental health challenges and to promote recovery activities.
While the opioid crisis continues, other substance use and mental health disorders have been on the forefront as well. Federal agencies should develop collaborative strategies to address the issues impacting our communities. As funding and resources decrease and the demand for services increase, agencies should share resources to meet the needs of the individuals seeking treatment. A-G Associates is proud to work with Public Health agencies to develop, and execute, strategies to address this extremely complex issue. As we embark on another year, A-G will continue to be instrumental in furthering SAMHSA’s mission by engaging stakeholders and coordinating events that promote treatment and recovery.
For more information on A-G’s event and conference planning services, please visit our website at www.a-gassociates.com.