For Immediate Release: August 31, 2020
Contact: [email protected]
As overdose deaths spike, the Clinton Foundation distributes more than 155,000 doses of lifesaving naloxone to recovery residences and community organizations across the U.S.
Through a new partnership among the Clinton Foundation, Direct Relief, the Voices Project, and the National Alliance for Recovery Residences, recovery residences and community organizations across the country now have access to the lifesaving opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone
New York, NY – Today, President Clinton and the Clinton Foundation’s Opioid Response Network announced that more than 155,000 doses of naloxone, a lifesaving opioid overdose reversal drug, has been distributed at no cost to recovery residences, community organizations, and local health departments across the country. This distribution is part of a new partnership among the Clinton Foundation, Direct Relief, the Voices Project, and the National Alliance for Recovery Residences (NARR).
More than 155,000 doses have been distributed in five states – Arkansas, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Local partners manage the distribution to individual facilities in each state. The partnership also provides training for health professionals in facilities stocking this naloxone.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a significant increase in overdose deaths throughout the country. This month, the American Medical Association published a report finding that more than 40 states have reported increases in opioid-related mortality since the onset of the pandemic.
“Preventing overdose deaths is the first step in fighting the opioid epidemic, and naloxone is our best weapon. There is only one qualification for someone to go into recovery from substance misuse – they need to be alive,” said President Bill Clinton. “The ongoing pandemic has brought more pain for those struggling with substance use disorder – jeopardizing access to health care professionals, support groups, and family and friends. At a time when overdose deaths are spiking, this program is putting lifesaving tools into the hands of health care professionals who need it.”
The partnership began as a pilot program in 2019, which distributed more than 40,000 doses within the first few months of operation. Since February of this year, as overdose deaths have spiked and local organizations have reported a lack of public health resources to fight the opioid epidemic, nearly 100,000 doses have been distributed.
There are an estimated 13,000 recovery residences in the United States, and they play an integral role in helping people with substance use disorders receive treatment and move into long-term recovery.
"Recovery residences and local harm-reduction organizations do tremendously important work every day on the front lines of the opioid epidemic," said Thomas Tighe, president and CEO of Direct Relief. "Their work not only saves lives and averts tragedy but serves to heal individuals, reconcile families, and rebuild communities. It’s a privilege for Direct Relief to support their efforts with donations of naloxone.”
“I have personally grieved the deaths of more than two dozen friends to preventable overdoses over the last few years with many of those friends dying in sober living homes, places which should have adequate protection and prevention measures in place," said Ryan Hampton, founder of the Voices Project and person in long-term recovery from opioid use disorder. "The Clinton Foundation and Direct Relief’s support of overdose prevention measures is so meaningful to us. Facilitating naloxone training and distribution in our five pilot states is saving lives. By treating addiction like a health issue and not a moral failing, we can address the national overdose crisis head-on."
"NARR is grateful to the Clinton Foundation and Direct Relief for recognizing the important role of recovery homes as a critical part of the nation’s response to our addiction crisis,” said Dave Sheridan, Executive Director, National Alliance for Recovery Residences. “We thank President Clinton for his vision, leadership, and determination to increase access to naloxone and training resources for recovery residences in America. With the Clinton Foundation's assistance, we can reduce the enormous toll of opioid addiction in our country."
President Clinton has long been committed to fighting substance use disorders, and with more than 15 years of experience in tackling complex health challenges, the Clinton Foundation continues to address the opioid epidemic through its Opioid Response Network by expanding naloxone access through partnerships with manufacturers such as Adapt Pharma, that provides NARCAN to high schools, colleges, and universities at no cost, and mobilizing more than 100 faith leaders and equipping them with the knowledge, skills, and resources needed to fight substance use disorders in their communities.
This builds on the Clinton Foundation’s work helping improve community access to naloxone for more than five years. In 2015 and 2016, the Clinton Foundation negotiated innovative agreements with kaléo and Adapt Pharma (now Emergent BioSolutions), to decrease cost and increase access to both injectable and nasal spray forms of naloxone. These partnerships made naloxone available at a discounted price to colleges and universities, public safety organizations, and community organizations, and through the Foundation’s ongoing partnership with Emergent BioSolutions, NARCAN (naloxone in spray form) is available to high schools, colleges, and universities at no cost.
About the Clinton Foundation
Building on a lifetime of public service, President Clinton established the Clinton Foundation on the simple belief that everyone deserves a chance to succeed, everyone has a responsibility to act, and we all do better when we work together. For nearly two decades, those values have energized the work of the Foundation in overcoming complex challenges and improving the lives of people across the United States and around the world.
As an operating foundation, we work on issues directly or with strategic partners from the business, government, and nonprofit sectors to create economic opportunity, improve public health, and inspire civic engagement and service. Our programs are designed to make a real difference today while serving as proven models for tomorrow. The goal of every effort is to use available resources to get better results faster – at the lowest possible cost.
We firmly believe that when diverse groups of people bring resources together in the spirit of true cooperation, transformative ideas will emerge to drive life-changing action. Learn more at http://www.clintonfoundation.org,on Facebook at Facebook.com/ClintonFoundation, and on Twitter @ClintonFdn.
About Direct Relief
A humanitarian organization committed to improving the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies, Direct Relief delivers lifesaving medical resources throughout the world to communities in need—without regard to politics, religion, or ability to pay. For more information, please visit https://www.DirectRelief.org.
About THE VOICES PROJECT
The Voices Project is a grassroots recovery advocacy organization that is changing the way America thinks about recovery, one voice at a time. End the silence, end addiction. Learn more and get involved. www.voicesriseup.org
About the National Alliance for Recovery Residences (NARR)
NARR supports persons in recovery from addiction by improving their access to quality recovery residences through standards, support services, placement, education, research, and advocacy. www.narronline.org