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Resolutions & Amendments

42nd International Convention - Las Vegas, NV (2016)

Resolution Recognizing the Opiate Epidemic in the United States

Resolution No. 34
42nd International Convention
Las Vegas Convention Center
July 18 - 22, 2016
Las Vegas, NV


AFSCME has noted a steady increase in the number of opioid addicted persons across the United States, and identified it as a public health crisis; and


2015 is likely to have been the year with the greatest number of reported opioid related fatalities on record nationwide; and


AFSCME has identified the need for additional inpatient beds, outpatient treatment, and related services to treat those suffering from opioid addiction; and


The opioid epidemic affects communities from nearly every part of the United States, be it urban, rural or suburban and as such, personally affects the families of many of our AFSCME members; and


The opioid epidemic affects all areas of the AFSCME population that we work with, such as law enforcement, mental health, substance abuse, probation and social services; and


Opioid addiction often stems from the use of prescription drugs for legitimate medical causes and then progresses to illegal drugs like heroin; and


Illegal opioids are increasingly available on the street; and


AFSCME recognizes the importance of working in coordination with a coalition of elected leaders, community organizations, representatives of the medical community and the labor movement to ensure we are successful.


That AFSCME officially recognizes the opiate epidemic in the United States and will begin working towards the goals of:

1. Increasing inpatient beds for substance abuse rehabilitation;

2. Increasing staffing in state, county, and city health departments, medical examiners’ offices and law enforcement agencies across the country;

3. Advocating for the establishment of family support centers across the nation to offer support for the family members of those affected; and

4. Lobbying local, state and federal representatives to secure additional funding at all levels of government to combat this growing problem through treatment and education for all.


SUBMITTED BY: Denise Szymura, Delegate

Robert L. Pyjas, Delegate

CSEA/AFSCME Local 1000

New York