Cooper announces plan to fight opioid overdose
RALEIGH, NC (WECT) - Gov. Roy Cooper announced the Opioid Action Plan Tuesday as a way to fight a public health crisis in North Carolina.
The goal of the plan is to reduce overdose deaths by 20 percent by the year 2021.
"Recently, so many families are affected by this. People are losing family members to deep addiction and death, and communities are being consumed by this," Cooper said.
The plan has several focus areas, including reducing the oversupply of opioids, increasing access to naloxone, and expanding treatment and recovery care.
"People do get well from substance use disorder," said Donald McDonald, a speaker at Tuesday's summit. "There are 23 million of us thriving in recovery in the United States, so it's important that at every opportunity we have a seat at tables like this."
Cooper is a member of the President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. He said he urges cooperation at the federal level in fighting the epidemic.
"The first thing I said at the commission was, we're kidding ourselves if we don't think this healthcare debate that's happening in Congress doesn't affect the opioid crisis," Cooper said. "You can't be saying you want to attack the opioid crisis and then taking away health insurance from millions of people. That's not going to work."
Cooper added that he had hoped for more funding for the action plan as well as the STOP Act.
"You're going to continue to hear from the governor advocate for additional resources whether it's from state, federal, county, private, philanthropy," said Mandy Cohen, secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services. "We all need to put our shoulder behind this and everyone needs to do their part and that includes the state budget."
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