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Purpose:  Advocates for mental health and substance use disorder treatment reforms:

Advocacy for mental health and substance use disorder treatment reforms is one of the North Carolina Parent’s Coalition for CHANGE six key platform components.

Many addiction-fighting strategies across the country focus on three key principles – addressing prevention through education, awareness and community engagement, saving the lives of those already afflicted through harm reduction strategies and access to the overdose-reversing drug Naloxone and implementation of Good Samaritan overdose reporting laws and finally activities to provide those suffering from addiction access to much needed treatment.

At present, only one in ten people nationally receive any form of effective treatment for substance use disorders. NC presents special obstacles to treatment associated with large rural populations, lack of public transportation options, few physicians with authorization to prescribe addiction fighting medications, limits to insurance coverage and stigma imposed on those with SUD in general and on the use of treatment medications specifically. With opioid overdose statistics continuing to worsen each year, a focus on needed treatment is essential to reduce the number of annual fatalities.

The goals of the Advocacy committee are to expand access to needed treatment for the afflicted in North Carolina, especially through use of evidence-based therapies, to reduce barriers to treatment, to ensure SUD treatment is provided by insurance carriers on a par with mental health coverage, and to reduce stigma associated with the use of treatment medications now showing greater promise for those pursuing recovery.

Our objectives include:

  • Help expand the number of physicians in the state with authority to prescribe treatment medications,
  • Work with elected representatives in the state to ensure coverage of SUD treatment as an essential benefit in private and public insurance options in the state,
  • Advocate with state elected officials and the state Department of Health and Human Services for access to any new federal resources to be provided specifically to expand treatment, and

Participate in awareness raising activities of the Coalition to educate and inform the public and the afflicted of treatment options and their associated risks and benefits.

To join this committee contact Alecia Roberts at: northcarolinaparentscoaltionforchange@yahoo.com