Faces of Addictionby Representative Rodney Davis
Posted on 2016-01-06
DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague. This
is a very important issue that is affecting central Illinois that I am
blessed enough to represent right here in this great institution.
As a Member of Congress, I have witnessed firsthand what heroin and opioids can do to communities like my hometown of Taylorville, Illinois. In my hometown of 12,000 people, I never would have thought, growing up in the 1980s, that a drug like heroin would cause such a scourge.
As a matter of fact, it is interesting to hear many of my colleagues talk about what is happening in their communities. Not too long ago, in that hometown of 12,000 people, our local newspaper had a coroner's jury report that I believe I remember mentioned four deaths in one coroner's jury report related to heroin and opioid overdoses. This is something in my community I never thought I would witness, and it is also something in my community that demands action.
I am so proud to sponsor the STOP ABUSE Act with my colleagues here tonight. What they are talking about and what everybody who has stood in front of this sign tonight has talked about is the importance of addressing opioid abuse. This bill is something that, because of small towns like my hometown, we are here to address. It has become a Federal issue.
I want to end by talking about a friend of mine, a gentleman that I grew up with, his family. He actually used to run our county health department at the time he was arrested for heroin use. Who would have thought that in a town of 12,000 people the director of the county health department would be addicted to heroin? It doesn't matter what your socioeconomic status is, it doesn't matter what your job is, and it doesn't matter where you were born or who you were born to; you, too, can become addicted to heroin. That is why we have demanded action tonight. That is why I am thankful to be here. That is why I am thankful to be able to help each and every one of my colleagues in a bipartisan way to address this problem. Mr. Speaker, we are going to do something about this issue.