National Council for Mental Wellbeing

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Washington D.C. (August 12, 2021) – Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released provisional data finding the United States had at least 94,134 overdose deaths between January 2020 and January 2021 – a 31% increase compared to the previous year. National Council for Mental Wellbeing President and CEO Chuck Ingoglia released the following statement in response:

“As the number of people dying from drug overdoses continue to escalate, we encourage local, state and federal officials to strengthen their response to this crisis through harm reduction strategies. Increasing support for harm reduction strategies, including syringe service programs, will increase access to disease-prevention services and provide resources for recovery. Syringe service programs in particular, prevent HIV, hepatitis C and other blood-borne diseases that spread when people share needles. In addition, people who inject drugs who regularly use a syringe service program are more than five times as likely to enter treatment for a substance use disorder and nearly three times as likely to report reducing or discontinuing injection as those who have never used one. Promoting harm reduction programs is an essential tool to preventing overdose fatalities.”