Press Room

ASTHO Applauds Administration's Commitment to Combat the Opioid Epidemic

ARLINGTON, VA (April 20, 2017)

Michael Fraser, executive director of ASTHO, issued the following response to HHS Secretary Tom Price’s remarks at the National Rx Abuse and Heroin Summit in Atlanta:

“ASTHO commends Secretary Tom Price and the Administration for their leadership and commitment to combatting the deadly opioid epidemic which has impacted Americans in every state and territory. In recent years, the epidemic of death and disease caused by misuse of prescription opioids has been exacerbated by the increase in heroin and illicit fentanyl use, bringing to light the complexity of issues surrounding addiction and the shortcomings of trying to address it through any single intervention. State and territorial health officials are actively addressing this issue and appreciate federal leadership and investment in these efforts.

No organization, government, or group can address this issue alone. Health officials and public health leaders are acutely aware of the magnitude of the opioid epidemic, working vigorously in their states and territories along with other government agencies, healthcare providers, and local, state, and national organizations to reverse the trend in substance misuse and addiction. ASTHO and its members encourage the Administration to continue its focus on prevention, monitoring and surveillance, enforcement, and treatment and recovery strategies to turn the tide in this epidemic. We also encourage policymakers and other stakeholders to learn about the ASTHO President’s Challenge and public health approaches to targeting the drivers of substance misuse and addiction.

Secretary Price’s prioritization of this issue is greatly appreciated. State and territorial health officials look forward to continued collaboration with the Administration and with Congress to assure vital resources and expertise are available to end the opioid epidemic.”

To learn more about ASTHO’s 2017 President’s Challenge and how to take action, visit


ASTHO is the national nonprofit organization representing the public health agencies of the United States, the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia, as well as the more than 100,000 public health professionals these agencies employ. ASTHO members, the chief health officials of these jurisdictions, are dedicated to formulating and influencing sound public health policy and to ensuring excellence in state-based public health practice.