The National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers encourages you to exercise your American civic duty this election year and VOTE. Every election is consequential, but this may be the most impactful vote of our lifetimes. We further urge you to encourage your co-workers, employees, and family members to do the same. Now more than ever, our country demands our full participation for the welfare of our democracy.
Substance use disorder treatment providers have a lot at stake this election. The COVID-19 pandemic serves to heighten and exacerbate the preexisting and ongoing National Health Crisis: Addiction. While we necessarily focus our efforts on recovery from COVID-19, we must not neglect our commitments to advocating treatment for and recovery from the life-threatening disease of substance use disorder. We are responsible for ensuring that our elected officials are informed and do not overlook or become complacent regarding the devastating effects of addiction. No one is better equipped to do this than we are, as addiction professionals and persons in recovery.
Examine candidates’ positions on access to care. Remind them that treatment works, and people recover when we provide appropriate care. Tell them that addiction is not a character flaw or a moral failing. Inform them that addiction is a treatable medical condition. Our voices matter in this election, from local and state races to congress to the President of the United States, and all influence how substance use disorder, treatment, and recovery are viewed and prioritized.
Your vote counts. Make it matter. Our futures depend on it.