Continuing the fight against opioid addiction

Aug 03, 2018 | Communications •

We come from different backgrounds, hometowns, and walks of life. But every community in this country is united in the common tragedy of opioid addiction. And that’s why we’re taking action.

House Republicans have led on our efforts to combat the opioid crisis, prioritizing treatment and recovery, prevention, ways to protect our community, and fighting fentanyl. For more on our work, visit

We’ve made a historic $4 billion investment in this fight, and our work continues. At home, House Republicans continue to meet with families, medical professionals, law enforcement, and local leaders to learn more about the ways our policies are making an impact, and what more can be done.

Rothfus and Barletta Led Roundtable Discussion to Combat Opioid Crisis in Appalachia

“The opioid crisis has devastated families, neighbors, and citizens in communities across Western Pennsylvania, and has severely impacted our economy, education, criminal justice, and healthcare systems,” said Congressman Rothfus. “We must combat this crisis with a comprehensive approach that focuses on treatment, prevention, and enforcement. And we must also work together to help provide economic opportunity to those in recovery. I thank the Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management Subcommittee Chairman Lou Barletta (PA-11) for hosting this roundtable in Somerset. He continues to be a leader on this issue. I am a proud cosponsor of his bill, the Treating Barriers to Prosperity Act, that will help direct Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) funds to address opioid-related workforce issues and economic development concerns. Also, I want to thank Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (PA- 9) for his continued leadership on these matters.”

“There isn’t a community across America that hasn’t been impacted by the opioid crisis, but it has disproportionately devastated the Appalachian region,” said Congressman Barletta. “I thank Congressman Rothfus for joining me today to help us find real-world solutions that will give communities across Pennsylvania the tools they need to combat the opioid crisis, and I look forward to continuing our important work.”

“Republicans have made a $4 billion investment to help our nation combat addiction and save lives. With additional resources to help treat, prevent, and stop addiction, our communities are ‘Better Off Now’ in the face of this crisis. However, there is still more work that must be done,” said House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA). “At all levels – from the doctor’s office, to our local businesses, to Congress – we need more solutions to give people help and hope. I applaud and thank Reps. Lou Barletta and Keith Rothfus for bringing people together to discuss those solutions at their roundtable.”

Full release and recap

Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA) in the Free Lance-Star: The House is committed to stopping the opioid crisis

Drug-related deaths in the 1st District nearly doubled, from 6.8 per 100,000 in 2015 to 13 per 100,000 in 2016. This trend cannot continue.

On Oct. 26, 2017, President Trump declared our current opioid crisis a public health emergency. Since that day, Congress has increased our efforts to combat addiction.

We must first start with prevention. It is critical that we encourage non-addictive opioid alternatives to treat pain, provide incentives for enhanced care, coordination and innovation. It is necessary that we improve data to identify and help at-risk patients.

We must also address high prescribing rates while enhancing prescription drug monitoring programs. All of this must be done without taking away these treatments from patients who truly need them to combat chronic pain.

Full Op-ed

Rep. French Hill (R-AR) in The Pulaski News: How we’re working to combat the opioid epidemic

A special thanks to Suzanne who bravely shared her story with us doing our opioid panel discussion. Her son, Nate, struggled with opioid addiction and eventually died after an overdose. She’s using her family’s tragedy as a way to help other families who have loved ones struggling with opioid addiction. Suzanne said that parent awareness is vital and that no one should be alone through the journey because without outside help, engagement, and action, more families will lose a loved one.

In the House this year, we’ve been successful in passing over 60 opioid-related bills that target the epidemic through various methods. This includes lifting the restriction on Medicaid reimbursement of inpatient substance abuse treatment and ensuring that health care professionals have access to a consenting patient’s complete medical history. This helps direct the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop best practices for ensuring prominent display of substance use disorder in medical records.

Full Op-ed