ATTORNEY GENERAL STEVE MARSHALL, MENTAL HEALTH
Montgomery, Ala. – Co-chairs of the Alabama Opioid Overdose and Addiction Council, Attorney General Steve Marshall, Commissioner Lynn Beshear of the Alabama Department of Mental Health, and Acting State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris, today announced the issuance of the Council’s formal report of its findings.
The Council was created in August of 2017 by an executive order of Gov. Kay Ivey, and tasked with developing a strategic plan “that establishes recommendations for policy, regulatory and legislative actions to address the overdose crisis in Alabama.” The Council and its subcommittees have met several times since then, and have submitted its formal plan to the Governor.
“Families, healthcare professionals and government officials at every level seek real solutions concerning the impact the opioid crisis has on Alabamians,” said Lynn Beshear, Commissioner, Alabama Department of Mental Health. “The next step in our effort will convene the Implementation Team of the Alabama Opioid Overdose and Addiction Council, as well as quarterly meetings of the full Council to implement researched opportunities. We believe the work of the Council offers preventive strategies, intervention and treatment options, and a community response that addresses this dire need. Working together, it will require organized sustained engagement of citizens and government with healthcare professionals.”
Acting State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said, “Opioid addiction and abuse is a tremendous problem that affects Alabama in many different ways. Our hospitals, schools, churches and prisons are all struggling to deal with the problems caused by addiction and by increasing numbers of opioid deaths. The comprehensive action plan the Council has developed includes improvements to the Alabama Prescription Drug Monitoring Program that make it easier for prescribers to identify opioid abuse and to motivate abusers to find help for themselves, their families and communities. We are encouraged that the Council has offered strategies that have the potential to reverse this crisis that affects so many Alabamians, and appreciate the input of so many individuals to find effective solutions.”
“After working with the dedicated people who have given so much of their time and concern to this Council and its subcommittees, I am heartened that we can make progress to fight the terrible blight of opioid abuse in Alabama,” said Attorney General Steve Marshall. “I want to thank Governor Ivey for bringing us together in a commitment to search for solutions and work toward implementing them. I have been proud to serve with Commissioner Beshear and Dr. Harris in this vital endeavor, and I am grateful to all the members of this Council and its subcommittees for their outstanding achievement in bringing forth these valuable recommendations.”
The Council’s report presents a four-pronged action plan to address prevention of opioid misuse, intervention within the law enforcement and justice systems, treatment of those with opioid use disorders, and community response that engages the people of Alabama in finding solutions at a local level. Some of the major findings are summarized below:
TREATMENT AND RECOVERY
A copy of the Council’s report is available for download here.