Providing for Consideration of H.R. 4641, Establishing Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force, and Providing for Consideration of H.R. 5046, Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Reduction Act…by Representative Rick W. Allen
Posted on 2016-05-11
ALLEN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Georgia for
yielding to me to speak on this important threat to our country, our
State, and our communities.
Our Founders made a promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. In America today, in every State, in too many families, there is a palpable undercurrent of pain, loss, and suffering that is caused by this horrendous opioid crisis.
Sadly, nearly one in five Americans knows someone who has been addicted to opioids. Nearly every 12 minutes, someone in the U.S. dies of a drug overdose; every 25 minutes, a baby is born suffering from opioid withdrawal.
A recent CDC study found that, in 2009, more Americans died from prescription drugs than motor vehicle accidents, marking the first time drug-related deaths have outnumbered motor vehicle-related deaths since 1979, when the government started tracking drug-related deaths.
Unfortunately, my home State of Georgia is not immune to this growing epidemic. According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, in 2012, prescription drugs played a role in 592 deaths in 152 of the 159 counties in Georgia for which it performs autopsies.
These heartbreaking numbers are far too high and tragic. We must take action to combat this crisis so that those addicted and their loved ones may start the road to healing. This week my colleagues and I in the House of Representatives are bringing opioid addiction out of the shadows to stop this devastating crisis.
I am proud of the tireless work of my colleagues in the Judiciary Committee, the Energy and Commerce Committee, and the Education and the Workforce Committee, on which I serve, to prevent, treat, and streamline access to care for those addicted to opioids.
My colleagues and I have worked to advance bipartisan solutions that address this crisis, from helping newborns who are born into addiction to creating an interagency task force to update [[Page H2232]] best practices for prescribing opioid painkillers.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.