Dr. Miriam Delphin-Rittmon Confirmed as Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use

Strong leadership is needed with the worsening opioid epidemic; NSC committed to work with leaders to end this crisis.

July 23, 2021

Itasca, IL – The National Safety Council congratulates Dr. Miriam Delphin-Rittmon on her confirmation as assistant secretary for mental health and substance use at the Department of Health and Human Services. With the COVID-19 pandemic substantially worsening the opioid epidemic, strong leadership at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the commitment to addressing America’s overdose crisis is critical.

Business leaders across the country are facing unprecedented challenges brought on by the pandemic, and a dramatic increase of substance use disorders is among them. In a recent NSC survey, 90% of employers say they are concerned about opioids, alcohol, mental health disorders and chronic stress in their workplaces, and more than half said impairment is decreasing the safety of their workforce. 

The reality is impairment threatens the safety of workers in both seen and unseen ways, and there are a variety of ways workers are impaired; among the most pressing is opioid misuse. According to CDC data, drug overdose deaths increased by more than 29% in 2020 – the largest increase in at least 50 years – and nearly three quarters of these were attributed to opioids. NSC is committed to partnering with Assistant Secretary Delphin-Rittmon and SAMHSA to take action to eliminate these deaths and save lives from the workplace to anyplace.

About the National Safety Council
The National Safety Council is America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate – and has been for over 100 years. As a mission-based organization, we work to eliminate the leading causes of preventable death and injury, focusing our efforts on the workplace, roadway and impairment. We create a culture of safety to not only keep people safer at work, but also beyond the workplace so they can live their fullest lives.

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