SURGEON GENERAL RELEASES SPOTLIGHT ON OPIOIDS

From: Danielle L. Kirby, Director
Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery

Director Danielle Kirby encourages you to share the Surgeon General's newest update on opioid use disorders widely. Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General's Spotlight on Opioids was released on September 20, 2018 and calls for a cultural shift in the way Americans talk about the opioid crisis and recommends actions that can prevent and treat opioid misuse and promote recovery. The Spotlight also provides the latest data on the prevalence of substance and opioid misuse, disorders and overdoses. Providers can print and post a digital postcard that highlights tangible actions that we all can take to raise awareness, prevent opioid misuse and reduce overdose deaths. In addition, Spotlight materials include a toolkit with images and sample promotional messages for multiple formats, including social media promotion.

The report also stresses the importance of working together to apply what we know to end the opioid crisis and cites Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) combined with community-based recovery supports as the gold standard for treating opioid use disorders. The Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery (SUPR), in cooperation with Governor Bruce Rauner's Opioid Prevention and Intervention Task Force, the federal government and other key Illinois stakeholders, continue to work in earnest to achieve this goal through enhanced funding for prevention and recovery services and the expansion of MAT. As we continue to increase services and develop plans to implement evidence-based prevention, treatment and recovery interventions, this new report aligns with Illinois' future efforts.

It is encouraging that we are seeing some signs that the efforts to stem the opioid crisis are having success with the use of MAT increasing and the number of Americans initiating heroin use dropping significantly from 2016 to 2017. However, there is still much work to accomplish. I hope you will share this report as part of your agency's outreach and prevention messaging, as well as with your colleagues, family and friends as we all continue to work together to address this crisis. The full report, supplemental materials including the toolkit, and digital postcard can be accessed at http://addiction.surgeongeneral.gov/. These materials are for your use to help expand the reach of our shared message about the opioid crisis.