Fighting America’s Opioid Epidemic

Apr 12, 2018 | COMMUNICATIONS •

We want to hear from you! Tell us what you think about our efforts to stop the opioid epidemic in this nation!

Almost every person knows someone whose life has been affected by opioid abuse. Whether it’s prescription pain relievers, heroin, or synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, this crisis has only gotten worse.

In October, President Trump declared the opioid epidemic as a public health emergency. And rightly so. Currently, more than 115 Americans die every day after overdosing on opioids; that’s more than 40,000 Americans annually.

These numbers, these people, have driven our resolve to do more.

For years, House Republicans have been leading the charge on this crisis by taking repeated action to understand and combat this form of addiction. We have launched investigations, held hearings, worked with experts, and drafted legislation on this front.

In fact, just this week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee held its latest hearing on combating this crisis; the White House welcomed a memorial to bring attention and honor the memories of those we have lost; and on April 28, we will recognize the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, which provides a safe and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs while also educating the public about the potentials of abuse and addictions.

But still, there is more work to be done.

Opioid abuse has been a silent killer in America for far too long. The recent spending bill is the latest legislative step towards ending this public health emergency.

Included in the FY 2018 Spending Bill (signed into law on March 23, 2018) is nearly $4 billion to address the opioid epidemic. This is the largest investment to date on this issue.

The allotted funds will address opioid abuse in rural America, among our veterans, in American Indian and Alaska Native communities, and elsewhere. They will be used for opioid prevention, treatment and rehabilitation.

More specifically, the spending bill outlines this $4 billion investment to be used to…

IMPROVE LAW ENFORCEMENT EFFORTS

  • Prioritize funding at the Drug Enforcement Administration for anti-opioid and other illegal drug enforcement efforts.
  • Support drug courts, treatment, prescription drug monitoring, heroin enforcement task forces, overdose reversal drugs, and at-risk youth programs.
  • Increase funding for Department of Justice federal law enforcement programs.

SUPPORT TREATMENT AND PREVENTION

  • New funding for grants to states and Indian tribes to address the opioid epidemic.
  • Support increased opioid overdose surveillance and prevention.
  • Research on opioid addiction support.

STOP THE FLOW OF ILLEGAL DRUGS INTO OUR COUNTRY

  • Port and drug inspection technologies within Customs and Border Protection.
  • Funds for the FDA to expand its surveillance and analysis efforts.
  • Continues drug interdiction efforts and investigations.

For a more detailed look at the spending breakdown for fighting the opioid epidemic, click here.

We are redoubling our efforts and moving forward to expand education, prevention, and treatment for Americans suffering from opioid addiction. We owe it to the more than 40,000 Americans who die every year to press on in our fight against the crisis gripping our nation. And that’s just what we intend to do.