From: The Honorable Bill Foster
Sent By: samantha.warren@mail.house.gov
Date: 2/25/2016

Support the President’s Plan to Combat Opioid Abuse

Current signers: Clark, Edwards, Esty, Foster, Gutiérrez, Higgins, Langevin, Levin, Moore, Pascrell,
Rangel, Tonko, Watson Coleman, Yarmuth

This is a Programmatic Request
Deadline to sign on is COB March 9

Dear Colleague,

We invite you to join us in sending a letter to appropriators expressing support for the President’s FY17 budget request to expand access to treatment for opioid abuse and addiction.

Prescription drug abuse is a growing public health crisis that affects people of every race, income, and educational level. In 2010 alone, opioids contributed to over 16,000 deaths and data from the CDC shows that opioids were involved in over 28,000 deaths in 2014.  In addition, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) 2011 National Survey on Drug Abuse, 1.7 million 12 to 15 year olds abused prescription drugs for the first time, amounting to more than 4,500 per day.

As you know, the President has requested $1.1 billion in new funding to combat this epidemic. This request includes:

  • $920 million to help states expand access to medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders.
  • $50 million in National Health Service Corps funding to expand access to substance use treatment providers.
  • $30 million to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment programs.

Each year drug abuse and addiction costs nearly $534 billion, but the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) estimates that we could save $4-$7 in criminal justice costs for every dollar invested in treatment and prevention. We hope you will join us in urging the Appropriations to include this important investment in their FY17 bills.

If you have questions or would like to join the letter, please contact Samantha Warren with Rep. Foster atSamantha.Warren@mail.house.gov, Daniel Most with Rep. Esty at Danielle.Most@mail.house.gov, or John Moreschi with Rep. Clark atJohn.Moreschi@mail.house.gov  by COB Wednesday March 9th.

Sincerely,

Bill Foster                                Elizabeth Esty                          Katherine Clark
Member of Congress                Member of Congress                 Member of Congress

 

Letter Text

Dear Chairman Cole, Chairman Culberson, Ranking Member DeLauro, and Acting Ranking Member Honda:

We write to express our support for the President’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 budget request to combat the opioid epidemic. As you prepare the FY 2017 Appropriations bills, we respectfully request that the Subcommittees include the President’s budget request for opioid addiction treatment and prevention.

For too long we have treated substance abuse as a moral failing. This has led to a stigmatization of those struggling with addiction that has only served to drive this problem deeper into the shadows. The scope and type of investments in the President’s budget request mark an important shift in the national conversation about addiction.

Many of our communities have been hit hard by opioid addiction and, as we struggle to prevent and treat abuse of prescription opioids and heroin, we need to make sure appropriate attention and resources are given to fighting this epidemic. The President’s budget request will allow states to expand prescription drug overdose prevention strategies, increase the availability of medication-assisted treatment programs, improve access to the overdose-reversal drug naloxone, and support targeted enforcement activities.

Thank you for your consideration. We look forward to working with you to ensure that our investment in opioid addiction treatment and prevention is sufficient to address the crisis

Sincerely,