The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new data today showing that deaths from drug and opioid overdoses increased by 21 percent in 2016. 

WASHINGTON, DC – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new data today showing that deaths from drug and opioid overdoses increased by 21 percent in 2016 over the previous year. Shatterproof Founder and CEO Gary Mendell released the following statement about the data showing that 63,600 Americans lost their lives:

“Today’s devastating numbers are more than just statistics in a report: they show how many American parents have had to bury their son or daughter related to this disease. I know from my own painful experience that behind every death there are countless family members and loved ones whose lives are forever shattered. This data only increases the urgent need for real federal and state action that will save lives.

CDC-data-age-adjusted-overdose
Age-adjusted drug overdose death rates: United States, 1999–2016

“Since President Trump declared a public health emergency this fall, the administration has failed to implement real evidence-based solutions to the crisis or find ways to use existing dollars more efficiently. The public health emergency declaration means nothing unless it is coupled with specific responsibilities, deadlines, and action plans.

“This preventable loss of life proves that we cannot wait while the government drags its feet, so we are using a business-like approach to take decisive action. In November, sixteen health insurers signed onto the National Principles of Care, agreeing to uphold a set of standards that will lead to better addiction treatment. In the months ahead, the Substance Use Disorder Treatment Task Force will execute its specific plan to ensure that every American with a substance use disorder has access to treatment based upon proven research. We hope the government should follow our lead and start acting. Our families are counting on them to do so”

For more info about the Task Force and the National Principles of Care, please visit:https://www.shatterproof.org/substance-use-disorder-treatment-task-force

About Gary Mendell:

Gary Mendell is the founder and CEO of Shatterproof. He founded Shatterproof to spare others the tragedy his family suffered with the loss of his son Brian to addiction in 2011. Mr. Mendell is an experienced businessman and CEO who founded HEI Hotels & Resorts and is the former president of Starwood Lodging Trust.

About Shatterproof:

Shatterproof is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the devastation the disease of addiction causes families. Shatterproof works to end the stigma and foster a community of support, providing evidence-based resources to support prevention, treatment and recovery. Shatterproof advocates for changes in policy at the federal and state level and supports the development and implementation of evidence-based solutions for substance use disorders.

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