Thursday, June 28, 2018

Graves: We are taking important steps to handle the opioid crisis

(From Sixth District Congressman Sam Graves)

You’ve seen the news stories and you probably know someone who’s been affected by it in some way - the scourge of opioid addiction. Overcoming this crisis is proving to be far more difficult than anyone expected. Did you know that more than 2 million Americans will suffer from addiction to opioids in 2018? Or that 115 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids EVERY DAY?

In Congress, we’ve spent a considerable amount of time in the last several weeks on legislation designed to break the hold that opioids have on this country. While I don’t think our legislative fixes are going to completely solve the issue, I do believe that it will help.

The bills I’ve helped pass to fight the opioid epidemic are focused on four things: treatment and recovery, prevention, protecting communities and fighting fentanyl.

Those addicted need treatment. Our efforts will improve and expand access to treatment and recovery services, provide incentives for enhanced care, coordination, and innovation and establish comprehensive opioid recovery centers.

However, it’s important that we prevent opioid abuse in the first place so treatment of an addiction isn’t necessary. That’s why we’ve passed legislation to encourage non-addictive opioid alternatives to treat pain, identify and help at-risk patients and families, and address high opioid prescribing rates.

Across North Missouri, our law enforcement and social service agencies have sprung into action. Programs such as the City of Hannibal’s Bringing the HEET Initiative (Heroin Education Enforcement Treatment) are being implemented to protect our communities. We want to partner with these agencies by giving law enforcement tools to get dangerous drugs out of our communities, better intercepting illicit opioids at international mail facilities and improving access to federal resources for local communities.

Finally, the synthetic drug known as fentanyl has created the bulk of the problems. Heroin laced with fentanyl is literally killing people the first time they use it. And it’s being trafficked throughout our communities. We’ve got to eliminate it. Our opioid legislation better tackles ever-changing synthetic drugs, cracks down on foreign shipments of illicit drugs, and provides grants for local communities to combat fentanyl.

The opioid epidemic is ripping apart families and communities. Too many lives have been taken or ruined as a result. I believe this is a serious issue and I’m glad we are taking important steps to help our local communities deal with this crisis.


Anonymous said...

Some would think we should not have a problem if Congress had done its job and provided oversight into drug company operations. A country as vast as the US needs to have the intelligence to know that we are no longer of country made up of 50 individual states. Federal laws need to be enacted that override some of the duties of the states. To name just a few: drivers licenses, drug laws and distribution, health laws, medical insurance laws, zoning laws, sewage and water treatment plants, discharge sources into waterways, environmental laws on all aspects of pollution, and especially laws governing food safety. Now we have some of these, but unless the government funds them appropriately most of these laws are ignored. Most importantly justice needs to be given out to offenders no matter their status in society. A small brown boy stealing a loaf of bread is given 6 months, but a CEO complicit in stealing millions gets off with a slap or 6 months in a cozy federal prison. Drug problems are there because congress was paid to look the other way while millions of pills were dispensed in small counties with bad doctors or drug stores. Period, simple solution, put them in jail for decades and provide help for those addicted.

Unknown said...

Good job, an important issue. We need the wall!

Harvey HUTCHINSON 303-522-6622 voice&text

Anonymous said...

Meth is just as bad, if not worse. Do something about that.

Anonymous said...

I swear that Harvey had to be one of those male cheerleaders in high school. Always about the republicans doing a good job about nothing but talk about doing something. Now his congress is set to not do what they did to Obama with respect to SCOTUS appointments, that is, not let the people decide after the fall elections. Two faced as to everything good for them and bad for workers.

Unknown said...

Anonymous 3:12

I played football in high school; hard hitting blocking back and nose guard

Harvey HUTCHINSON 303-522-6622 voice&text