You hear the stories. You read about it in the news.
The opioid epidemic is wreaking havoc across the country, and it’s destroying families, communities and opportunities.
During a press conference today on Capitol Hill, Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) reminded us that families are losing loved ones “every hour, every day, all across this country.” She went on to highlight the great work of Justin Phillips, a mom from her district who lost her son, Aaron, to a heroin overdose when he was just 20 years old. Justin is now an advocate for those struggling with opioid abuse and addiction. Brooks discussed the efforts of House this week related to the crisis of addiction and overdoes — specifically, her bill that establishes a task force comprised of patients, medical providers, hospitals, state medical boards, pain advocacy groups and federal agencies involved in prescribing pain medication. The task force would be responsible for reviewing and updating best practices, released earlier this year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for prescribers of pain medication.
Rep. Bob Dold (R-IL) today shared the story of Alex Laliberte, an “all-American-kid” from Dold’s home state of Illinois who died from an opioid overdose and inspired Rep. Dold’s “Lali’s Law” effort, a bill that will give thousands struggling from addiction a second chance at recovery. With Alex’s parents and sister by his side, Dold described Alex as a star student who “played sports, got good grades, had lots of friends, and went off to college. What happened there is mysterious. Alex would check himself into a hospital and his parents didn’t know what was going on, his teachers didn’t know what was happening. …Alex was in withdrawals for prescription drugs. He would get better. He would get out. He would repeat the cycle over and over again. This happened until Alex’s sophomore year. Just before his final exams, Alex actually overdosed on prescription drugs and heroin and died.”
The fight against opioid addiction is not about politics. It’s about giving those who have been affected from addiction the confidence and resources they need to pursue their version of the American dream.