Gov. Cooper Comment on Opioid Commission Final Report

RALEIGH

Governor Roy Cooper, a member of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, shared the following comment after the Commission voted unanimously to submit their final report to the President.

“The opioid crisis is real. People’s lives and our economy depend on strong and decisive action. In North Carolina, we have seen a 1000% increase in opioid-related deaths since 1999. The opioid epidemic has cost our country and our state too many lives already, and today, I voted to send the President a robust set of recommendations for action the federal government can take to combat this crisis.

Among many other items, we recommended actions to stop the flow of deadly heroin and fentanyl into the United States, including harsher penalties for trafficking and the use of additional detection technologies. We also urge that federal agencies require prescribers to check the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program to prevent doctor shopping, as we have done here in North Carolina with the bipartisan STOP Act.

But perhaps most importantly, our report highlights the critically important issue of health care. One in five adults with an opioid addiction is uninsured, and in our state, there is a correlation between areas with a large uninsured population and rates of addiction. Making health care more accessible and more affordable helps people currently struggling with substance use disorders and those who are at-risk of developing addictions. North Carolina should expand Medicaid and federal representatives should abandon plans to slash health care funding and instead find ways to get more people covered.

This is a strong report and it deserves the full attention of Congress and the White House. I urge the President and Congress to follow through on our recommendations and allocate significant federal funding for this public health crisis.”

The final report can be read HERE.

Earlier this year, Gov. Cooper launched the North Carolina Opioid Action Plan that focuses on: reducing the oversupply of prescription opioids; stopping illegal fentanyl and heroin supply and the diversion of prescription drugs; increasing community awareness and prevention; making naloxone available and linking overdose survivors to care; and expanding treatment and recovery care.

The state action plan can be found HERE.

 

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