Opioid use disorder in the United States is so prevalent, the National Safety Council reports more people die from an accidental opioid overdose than from traffic fatalities. The National Institute on Drug Abuse earlier this year published data reflecting a surge in Florida overdose deaths involving opioids.

To raise awareness of opioid use disorder and highlight solutions pursued in the courts, Chief Justice Charles Canady issued a proclamation ​establishing August “as a month of awareness, training, and action regarding opioids, and treatment for opioid use disorder.”

 Opioid use disorder exacts a serious toll on the lives of millions in the United States, according to the court. Its impacts range from the suffering associated with addiction, overdoses, and death. Among its further consequences are increased crime, job losses, family disruptions, and taxpayer expense to address these problems in the justice, social services, and health-care systems.