Sunday, May 15, 2016

House Majority Leader McCarthy warns of opioid addiction, says House is ready to help

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy gives us his weekly view from Capitol Hill. In his words:

 "Addiction tears families apart, uproots communities, and deprives people of the basic freedom to live the lives they want. And opioid addiction is only getting worse in this country. The most recent
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data shows 78 Americans die every single day from opioid overdose. This problem is taking a toll on our community as well. In 2012, 45 people from Kern County died from opioid overdoses.

 "Simply put, we cannot afford to ignore this problem any longer. We need to do something about it. This is why I am working to help solve this problem at the federal, state, and local levels.

 "At the federal level, Congress is taking action -- we’re finding solutions in a bipartisan manner that will make a difference immediately.

 "This week, the House passed 18 bills this week to promote ways to fight, treat, and prevent opioid addiction. One the bills passed included my latest legislation, the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Reduction Act, better known as the OPEN Act. This bill will improve data sharing across agencies to better improve opioid treatment programs. My legislation will require the Attorney General and HHS Secretary to collect and publicly share various treatment outcome metrics. By increasing access to this data, healthcare officials, researchers, and engaged citizens will have an opportunity to strengthen treatment and prevention programs.
 At the local level we’re also promoting viable solutions.
 "Last month, I joined Assemblywoman Shannon Grove at Walgreens on Hageman to help promote their new drug disposal kiosks. These kiosks will serve our communities a safe and convenient way for people to dispose of their unused and/or expired prescriptions at no cost. This simple, and easy method will help rid our homes of these drugs and curb the misuse of medications. I’m pleased to report Bakersfield is home to one of the nations first kiosks as Walgreens intends to install these units at more than 500 locations this year.
 "There is no quick cure to this problem, but we can and must do more to stop the tide of this epidemic so the American people can live freer and happier lives.

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