WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney (CT-02) on Tuesday joined 10 colleagues in the House of Representatives to send a letter to President Donald Trump calling for action to address the “growing prescription opioid and heroin epidemic.”
The letter, Courtney said, comes after the initial findings of The Commission on Combatting Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis were released subsequent to the commission missing two previously self-imposed deadlines.
The letter also coincides with President Trump’s decision to reject one of the key findings by the commission he created that had recommended classifying the growing prescription opioid and heroin crisis as a ‘national emergency,’ thus triggering the release of additional funding and resources to combat the “plague of addiction,” Courtney said.
The letter outlines the need to increase funding for treatment and recovery services, as well as cease efforts to roll back access to health insurance, Courtney said.
“Despite President Trump’s insistence that he is taking action against the rising tide of opioid addiction, all of his activates thus far have shown exactly the opposite – that he is not doing enough,” Courtney said. “Last week, his own commission recommended he declare the growing prescription opioid and heroin epidemic a national emergency. Yesterday, he declined to take any new actions or allocate any new funding. The national death toll is growing by the day and President Trump essentially told the commission to take a walk.”
The letter can be viewed in full here.
“I have spent a great deal of time meeting with families and first responders over the last two-years to learn more about this crisis and the message from them could not be clearer,” Courtney said. “They need new resources and more funding to fight back and save lives – it is that simple. There is not enough money either for law enforcement activities or for treatment beds. We need to end the stigma against drug addiction and start treating this epidemic like the public health emergency it is.”
Originally published in the The Vernon Patch – August 9, 2017
By: Chris Dehnel (Patch Staff)August 9th, 2017