The Opioid Epidemic does not discriminate; not by race, gender, or political party. It is now the number one cause of accidental death in the United States. The threat continues to spread throughout the country and our communities. This is why in May, the House passed a comprehensive package of legislation to combat the Opioid Epidemic.
In an op-ed published in the Springfield News-Leader, Rep. Vicky Hartzier (R-MO) reminded us that this a battle we can win together. She touted the House’s Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016, which gained overwhelming bipartisan support, as a proper course of action that empowered law enforcement officials and the medical community. However, this is not enough. We need to continue to shine the light on this tragedy, only then can we beat this epidemic.
In case you missed it, here are some highlights of Rep. Hartzler’s op-ed.
On the Opioid Epidemic
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 52 people die each day in the U.S. from prescription painkiller overdoses.”
“In Missouri, more than one-twelfth of our adults report alcohol or illicit drug dependence. The addiction problem is even more pronounced among those between the ages of 18 and 25 years old, showing a much higher rate of 18.1 percent.”
On Taking Action
“Accepting the fact that opioid addiction is rapidly overwhelming this nation demands a speedy and aggressive response from our legislators, law enforcement officials, the medical community and our friends and neighbors.”
“One thing is for certain, however — we cannot turn our head, we cannot ignore it, and we cannot pretend it is not there. We must talk about it, we must join together, and we must be willing to confront this issue head on. This fight is winnable, but it will take all of us.”
Read the full op-ed here.