Last week, we passed dozens of bills to help combat the opioid crisis, and our work continues this week. We’re prioritizing treatment and recovery, prevention, ways to protect our community, and fighting fentanyl. For more on our work, visit OpioidCrisis.gop.
As we continue our work, House Republicans have been sharing stories and highlighting the impact of the opioid crisis at home. Here’s what they had to say:
Rep. Mike Bishop (R-MI) and Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) in the Detroit News: We want to stop the spread of fentanyl
Unlike other drugs that are mostly smuggled over land, most illegal fentanyl is manufactured in laboratories in China and transported into the U.S. through a federal agency — the U.S. Postal Service.
Fentanyl manufacturers and distributors prefer the Postal Service because — unlike private carriers like UPS, FedEx and DHL — the Postal Service is not required to get what is called advance electronic data on international packages entering the U.S. This information provides additional data, such as where a package is from, where it is going and what it contains. Law enforcement needs this information to identify suspicious packages, test them, and seize them if they contain illegal drugs.
The STOP Act will hold the Postal Service to the same standard as private carriers, close this loophole and give law enforcement the tools they need — and are asking for — to keep more fentanyl out of the U.S.
More than one-third of the Senate and more than half of the House of Representatives have supported this effort, and President Trump’s opioid commission endorsed it. It’s a common-sense solution, and it will make a real difference in combating this epidemic.
Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL) in Alabama Today: Combating the opioid crisis at home and across the country
I’m pleased that last October, President Donald Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency. This epidemic has been wreaking havoc on communities and families across our country for far too long. While the statistics are certainly shocking, this is about so much more than numbers. Hundreds of thousands of real American people with lives, careers, and families have lost the battle with opioid drug abuse. That’s why the House has made combating this crisis a top priority over the last several years.
You may remember that back in 2016, Congress passed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act and the 21st Century Cures Act. Earlier this year, we provided $4 billion in government funding specifically to address the opioid crisis. Building upon this work, the House recently passed dozens of meaningful bills to further combat the opioid epidemic, and I’d like to share the four ways we are using this legislation to help fight this serious issue.
Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA) in the OC Register: The Access to Sober Living Act will stop unethical practices at sober living homes
We cannot allow shady treatment facilities to continue to operate, posing a threat to both patients and communities. My colleague, Rep. Judy Chu, D-Pasadena, and I recently introduced the Access to Sober Living Act, which would require the federal government to establish best practices for sober living homes to ensure patients receive high quality care. Reputable sober living facilities provide a safe environment for patients to continue their efforts to maintain sobriety. The Access to Sober Living Act would help put an end to fraudulent behavior and unethical practices by sober living homes to help those struggling with addiction reclaim and rebuild their lives.
Our bill is one part of Congress’ effort to combat the opioid epidemic. As a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, I am working with my colleagues to pass and enact legislation that provides resources for treatment and prevention, while addressing the underlying causes of addiction. The committee has held numerous hearings on the topic of opioids, including one in May where I questioned pharmaceutical distributors about their suspicious shipments of powerful opioids to California pharmacies.
Rep. Evan Jenkins (R-WV) in the Charleston Gazette-News: Fighting back against drug addiction
The opioid crisis touches nearly every family in West Virginia, with too many lives lost to the disease of addiction. It’s an issue I hear about every day as your representative in Congress and one we must work together to change.
Here in the U.S. House of Representatives, we’re taking action to stop the spread of fentanyl, help people enter treatment, and ensure opioids are prescribed responsibly. A national crisis requires a national response, and I’ve helped pass more than 30 bills last week as the House focuses in on the opioid epidemic.
Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) in the Gainsville Times: Battling opioid addiction requires a holistic approach
Over the last five years, Americans have seen a dramatic rise in home invasions. The numbers rose slowly and steadily from 2000 to 2013 and skyrocketed from there through 2016, when the same menace claimed 20,145 lives in 12 months.
The intruder has made its way into communities in every corner of every state. It’s called fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that stole into countless families, widening the wake of damage left by other opiates like heroin. Together, opioids ended the lives of at least 1,395 Georgians in 2016.
Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA) in the Culpeper Star-Exponent: Opioid crisis needs to be addressed
When these tragedies occur, the children need the community’s help to help heal intergenerational wounds. Child care providers, Head Start program facilitators, and professionals who work with children are in a special position to identify and assist children affected by substance abuse. However, they may not have the preparation and education needed to recognize the risk factors associated with childhood trauma due to an adult’s substance abuse.
Information and resources from the Department of Health and Human Services could help educate child care and early education providers how to identify risk factors and respond appropriately when faced with a child experiencing trauma related to substance abuse. Such information and resources will help keep more children safe, while aiding in the healthy development and well-being of the child and promoting whole-family approaches whenever possible.