Substance Use Disorders
We believe any policy adopted by the North Carolina General Assembly should include a three-pronged approach that focuses on prevention, treatment and recovery. Substance use disorders affect North Carolinians from all geographic areas of the state and include all socioeconomic classes.
Federal agencies and medical professionals have shifted their focus on emphasizing that addiction and substance use disorders are diseases and not moral failures.
We must educate all North Carolinians in the science of addiction medicine. As recently as 2014, the vast majority of those who required treatment for a substance use disorder were unable to receive treatment due to lack of resources and access to this lifesaving opportunity. We support greater access to treatment with reduced wait times for admissions to these programs.
We also demand greater support for recovery support services, as recovery
does not end upon discharge from treatment; it is a lifetime endeavor.
We support keeping those with mental illness and substance use disorders out of jails and prisons by providing appropriate treatment instead of incarceration and that those who are dealing with behavioral health and substance use disorder diagnoses receive needed aid to securing housing.
We urge that North Carolina continue to monitor the use and implementation of the Good Samaritan laws and support the over-the-counter access to the lifesaving drug Naloxone, which can immediately reverse the devastating effects of opiate overdoses.
We urge prioritizing rehabilitation and treatment over prison for low-level and
nonviolent drug offenses, and work to end the era of mass incarceration.