WASHINGTON, DC – In Gallup’s annual Crime poll, the group found synthetic opioids are making the opioid crisis the deadliest in American history. Drug overdoses are currently the number one killer of Americans under age 50.
Energy and Commerce has explored the rise of synthetic opioids like fentanyl, which is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. Specifically, #SubOversight has explored this “third wave” of the opioid crisis, holding a March hearing and digging deeper into how illicit fentanyl is becoming so widely available. Fentanyl is the leading cause of drug overdose deaths and continues to be more prevalent across the country.
During the March #SubOversight hearing, #SubHealth Chairman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. said, “I went online and looked at how to order fentanyl online just while sitting here and there are a lot of opportunities.”
As the opioid epidemic continues to gain attention, the majority of the country is unifying behind the seriousness of this issue and the desire to solve the problem. Seventy-one percent of the country views drugs in the U.S. as an extremely or very serious problem, according to the Gallup poll.
It’s a belief that’s shared by Congress too.
In October, the committee held a Member Day on the opioid crisis. Energy and Commerce heard from more than 50 members from across the country who shared personal and local stories, and ideas to combat the epidemic.
The White House has been taking action to combat the opioid crisis, as well. This week, the White House Opioid Commission released its report with more than 50 recommendations on responding to the epidemic and the challenge of illegal drugs like illicit fentanyl. Last week, the President formally declared this a public health emergency giving federal agencies more resources to tackle this problem.
Important actions have been taken and Energy and Commerce will continue to identify ways to combat this scourge.
Stay up-to-date on all of the committee’s work to combat the #OpioidCrisis at energycommere.gov/opioids.