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U.S. Rep. Ted Budd shakes hands with senior Kara Wagoner, 17, in 2018 at South Iredell High School.

U.S. Representative Ted Budd introduced a resolution aimed at ending the stigma of substance abuse and treatment and recognize addiction as a disease.

On Nov. 19, the House resolution, which has three critical points which will start the work needed to end stigma around the epidemic, was presented.

One point will be to start recognizing addiction as a treatable, chronic medical disease involving complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment and an individual’s life experience.

It will also support evidence-based treatment approaches for substance use disorder that address the biological, psychological, and social aspects of the disorder.

And it will support efforts to prevent and destigmatize substance use disorder and addiction.

This resolution is presented during a time when the opioid crisis is the biggest public health crisis facing the United States, Budd said.

“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 70,000 Americans died from a drug overdose in 2017, making drug overdose one of the leading causes of death in the United States,” Budd said. “Unfortunately, many people struggling with addiction do not seek the treatment they need because of the stigma surrounding substance abuse treatment and for a fear of being judged.”

This resolution is important due to the fact that destigmatization will lead to more people seeking the help they need which will lead to recovery for those suffering from the disease.

“Substance abuse treatment is essential in helping people recover from drug addiction and plays a key role in preventing relapse,” Budd said. “I am proud to introduce a resolution that accomplishes these goals.”

Budd is not the only one proud of the steps being made by congress but also Paul H. Earley, president of The American Society of Addiction Medicine.

“The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) applauds Congressional leaders for recognizing addiction as a chronic, treatable medical disease and for resolving to ensure that high-quality, evidence-based addiction treatment is available to all Americans who need it. Public acknowledgement by our nation’s policy leaders is important to ongoing efforts to destigmatize addiction, address this disease compassionately and effectively, and save lives,” Earley said.

In addition to the ASAM, 14 other organizations also endorse this bill such as American College of Medical Toxicology, American College of Emergency Physicians, American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine, American Psychological Association and more.

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