WestCare Foundation Answers the Surgeon General’s Call to End the Epidemic of Addiction in the United States

WestCare Foundation Answers the Surgeon General’s Call to End the Epidemic of Addiction in the United States


December 1, 2016

Contact: Liz Gilbert, Vice President Marketing & Communications


(LAS VEGAS, NV) — Taking an important step in the fight against addiction in the United States, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has released the first-ever Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health. This historic report issues a new call to action to end the public health crisis of addiction that is impacting America’s communities. WestCare, a leading provider of recovery-oriented services in the United States, is continuing its work to answer the call issued by the Surgeon General.

“Over 130,000 people die every year from a substance use disorder, a preventable and treatable disease,” said Richard Steinberg, President and CEO of WestCare. “We applaud the Surgeon General for this comprehensive report that provides a thorough response from the government’s top health agency to the devastation we see every day in communities we serve across the country.”

WestCare has a deep understanding of the crisis facing American communities underscored by data in the Surgeon General’s report:

  • In 2015, 66.7 million people in the United States reported binge drinking in the past month and 27.1 million people were current users of illicit drugs or misused prescription drugs.
  • Alcohol misuse contributes to 88,000 deaths in the United States each year.
  • In 2014 there were 47,055 drug overdose deaths including 28,647 people who died from a drug overdose involving some type of opioid, including prescription pain relievers and heroin.
  • Substance misuse and substance use disorders have serious economic consequences, costing more than $400 billion annually in crime, health, and lost productivity.

Offering more than 140 recovery-focused programs nationwide, WestCare works daily in communities across the nation to end the prescription opioid addiction epidemic and substance use disorders with evidence-based interventions that help people to live healthy and productive lives.

About WestCare

WestCare Foundation was founded in 1973 in Las Vegas with the goal of “uplifting the human spirit.” The non-profit provides a variety of programs across the continuum of health and human services. Every doorway into a WestCare program is designed, not only to lead to solutions for the presenting issue, but also to be a first step toward identifying other potential complicating and co-occurring factors impacting the life of individuals as a whole. WestCare’s trauma-informed, person-centered continuum of care spans 18 states, three U.S. territories, and the Republic of Palau and is recognized for clinical excellence, coordinated access and collaborative innovation.

Addressing the issues of substance abuse, mental health disorders, homelessness, domestic violence, prisoner re-entry, HIV/AIDS, and Veterans support, WestCare offers services such as: outpatient and residential treatment; women and children’s programs; education/prevention efforts; emergency shelters and transitional living services; Veterans programs; mental health services; and community triage centers.

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