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April 29, 2021 35 min

This week, we revisit an important episode of “Why Am I Telling You This?” on the escalating opioid crisis, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. This episode features U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy and harm reductionist and Clinton Foundation partner Julie Stampler who joined President Bill Clinton in 2019 to discuss how we can work together to fight this epidemic, and a personal story from Sarah Gad, who overcame her own struggle with substance use disorder and is now helping others through a Clinton Global Initiative University commitment that has increased medication-assisted treatment for incarcerated people struggling to survive and conquer their addiction. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that, on average, more than 160 people a day die of opioid overdoses across America — and millions more are in need of treatment. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a significant increase in overdose deaths throughout the country, as people struggling with substance use disorder have had difficulty accessing health care professionals, support groups, and family and friends. In April 2021, the Biden Administration asked Congress for $10.7 billion to fight the opioid crisis.

The Clinton Foundation’s Opioid Response Network has been responding to the opioid crisis since 2012 — working with partners to distribute more than 280,000 doses of life-saving naloxone, engage influential faith leaders in hard-hit communities to reduce stigma, and translate research into practice with institutions such as the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School. Learn more: clintonfoundation.org.

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