We lose an average of 120 Americans every day to opioid overdoses according to the Centers for Disease Control. This epidemic impacts every facet of our society, including the ability of our communities and of Hoosiers to grow and thrive. I have been a leader in Congress to:
- Provide critical tools for law enforcement to combat the drug dealers who prey on those battling addiction.
- Make life-saving overdose reversal drugs available to first responders.
- Improve treatment options for those fighting addiction.
- Help babies born addicted to opioids to get treatment.
- Change the practice of over-prescribing pain medication while ensuring effective pain management for people struggling with chronic ailments.
In 2016, the House passed a package of bills to address the heroin and opioid crisis, including my bill, HR 4641, that established a task force comprised of people with chronic pain and in recovery, medical providers, hospitals, state medical boards, pain advocacy groups, and federal agencies involved in oversight of pain management and the prescribing of pain medication.
I was also a member of the Special Conference Committee of select members of Congress who finalized a comprehensive bill to address substance abuse, specifically focused on heroin and opioids, that was signed into law in 2016. Funding to support these efforts was also signed into law, and Indiana received $10.9 million in 2017 to support local efforts to combat heroin and opioid abuse. This year, the House passed more than 50 bills, including one I led, to combat the heroin and opioid crisis that continues to devastate Hoosier families and communities. These proposals will provide much needed treatment to people struggling with substance abuse, help prevent others from descending into addiction, provide resources and tools to law enforcement to protect our communities and stem the tide of illegal drugs, and fight fentanyl. Click here to read more about these bills and our efforts.
I will continue to fight for Hoosier families who have suffered through the loss of a loved one and for those who are battling addiction.