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CRAMER: Opioid Abuse Affects All Walks of Life

May 13, 2016
Press Release


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer debated in support of legislation confronting the nation’s opioid abuse epidemic this week in the House of Representatives. The House passed 18 bills addressing various issues related to opioid addiction as it relates to veterans, pregnant women and their babies, residential treatment programs, opioid reversal drugs, education initiatives, support for treatment of abusers by doctors, and law enforcement’s efforts to combat drug trafficking and education initiatives.

Following their final passage with wide bipartisan support, the bills were packaged into one piece of legislation today to be brought to a conference committee with the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act legislation passed by the Senate in March.

Cramer’s floor speech was in support of H.R. 4641, which establishes an inter-agency task force to review, modify and update best practices for pain management and prescribing pain medication. Introduced by Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) and Rep. Joseph Kennedy (D-MA, this was one of 10 bills first heard in the Energy and Commerce Committee, of which Cramer is a member, before coming to the floor for final passage.

“With heroin addiction now being three times greater than it was just a decade ago, we know it doesn’t matter if you live on an Indian reservation, a farm, in the middle of a city, a suburb, or a small town,” Cramer said. “It doesn’t matter your lot in life, your income level or social status. This opioid abuse crisis affects people of all walks of life. It’s time we acknowledge this and deal with it at this level.”

Cramer said H.R. 4641 takes advantage of the collective talent of those who deal with opioid issues every day. “I believe it’s the beginning of a profound solution. I applaud the efforts of my colleagues who brought this issue to this chamber and grieve with so many parents. In Fargo, this year alone there have been a minimum of 10 fatal overdoses because of this crisis. I will stand shoulder to shoulder with anybody and everybody in this this chamber, as well as the chamber on the other side of the Capitol, to help solve this problem.”