From: The Honorable Joe Courtney
Sent By:
michelle.greenhalgh@mail.house.gov

Bill: H.R. 4447
Date: 5/12/2016

Join the Fight Against Opioid and Heroin Addiction

Cosponsors (40): Blumenauer, Bonamici, Bordallo, Cicilline, Clark, Conyers, DeFazio, DeLauro, DeSaulnier, Duckworth, Esty, Frankel, Garamendi, Grayson, Gutierrez, Hastings, Higgins, Himes, Keating, Kuster, Larson, Levin, Lewis, Lynch, Matsui, McGovern, McNerney, Neal, Norcross, Perlmutter, Pingree, Pocan, Rangel, Tim Ryan, Swalwell, Tonko, Tsongas, Van Hollen, Welch, Yarmuth.

 

Dear Colleague:

Every day communities across the country are struggling with the challenges of managing opioid and heroin addiction.  74 Americans die each day of drug overdoses – nearly 3 deaths, every hour, of every single day – staggering.
Since 2000, the rate of overdose deaths has increased 137%, including a 200% increase in the rate of overdoses attributed to opioids. 

In my home state of Connecticut, we saw our drug overdose death rate soar over the past few years, we lost 490 lives in 2013 and then 558 lives in 2014.  And 2015 also saw another sharp increase in lives lost, putting our small state close to the 700 lives lost mark for last year.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drug overdose deaths have exceeded car crashes as the number one cause of injury death in the United States.

I know that many of you can relate to these statistics, as this is also unfortunately happening in your states and districts alike.  As leaders in our communities, and of our country, we can no longer sit back and allow this to happen.  Our state and local counterparts are working hard to educate, combat, and treat this epidemic, and I believe that it is our job to make federal funds available to them as they work to save our communities. 

To this end, I hope you will consider signing on to my bipartisan legislation, HR 4447, the
Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act.
This legislation would provide $600 million in emergency funding from both Department of Justice and Department of Health and Human Services Emergency Supplemental funds to help save American lives and to address this national emergency. 

The legislation makes grants available to states to assist in the coordination and improvement of already-existing substance abuse prevention and treatment programs.  These grants will be available for states and local communities to improve programs such as state prescription drug monitoring programs, education/prevention/treatment/recovery programs, aid in targeted addiction research, address underage drinking and prescription drug misuse and abuse among young people, improve access in high-risk communities to medication assisted treatment services, support school and community services aimed at creating safe drug-free environments, and also assisting community organizations develop statewide organization networks for peer to peer recovery
activities, among other things.

I hope you will join in me in ensuring that our communities have the resources they need to address this growing epidemic. For more information, or to cosponsor, please contact Michelle Greenhalgh, my health Legislative Assistant at michelle.greenhalgh@mail.house.gov or at 202-225-2076. 

Sincerely,

                                                                        /s/

                                                                        JOE COURTNEY
Member of Congress 

          

Supporting Organizations:

American Academy of Pain Management

American College of Physicians

American College of Sports Medicine

American Osteopathic Association

American Public Health Association

American Society of Addiction Medicine

Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses

College on Problems of Drug Dependence

Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America

Connecticut Certification Board

Fraternal Order of Police

Friends of NIDA

IC & RC

Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association
California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals

National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors

Partnership for Drug-Free Kids

Physician Assistant Education Association

SAI

Society of General Internal Medicine