WASHINGTON, DC – Earlier this week, more than 50 members testified before #SubHealth about the #OpioidCrisis. They came from 29 states, highlighting legislation to help combat the epidemic, and telling stories from their personal lives and from constituents about the effects of this heartbreaking crisis. Republicans and Democrats alike were unified in their belief that more should be done to combat this ongoing crisis.
Harrowing statistics were shared. Among them:
- 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose
- More than 64,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2016
- More than 1,000 Americans are treated each day for abusing opioids
But it’s not just the national statistics that are alarming. A snapshot of any state shows every community is suffering from this scourge.
- In Florida, overdose deaths increased by 55 percent from 2016 to 2017
- 3,310 Ohioans died of an opioid overdose in 2015
- 4,659 Californians died of an opioid overdose in 2015
Rep. John Katko (R-NY) shared the stories of five young central New Yorkers who fatally fell victim to the opioid crisis. Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) said his state of North Carolina “is home to four cities in the top 25 worst cities affected by the crisis…”.
Members also stressed the importance of ensuring full implementation of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), which includes 11 committee bills. The full Energy and Commerce Committee will get an update on the implementation of this important law in two weeks, and hear directly from agency officials who are leading the fight to combat the opioid crisis.
Critical work lies ahead, like continuing our ongoing investigations into alleged pill dumping and patient brokering, and we remain committed to the bipartisan goal of putting a stop to this heartbreaking epidemic.