Important Opioid Research Taking Place in Kentucky
'Congress can provide resources and support to vulnerable communities. But often, we do the most good by getting government’s foot off the brake and letting American innovators get back to business. I recently heard some great news from one private-sector problem-solver in my home state of Kentucky. US WorldMeds, in my hometown of Louisville, has spent the last fifteen years working to bring relief to the millions of Americans touched by opioid addiction.'
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding the nationwide opioid epidemic:
“I spoke yesterday about the new job opportunities flooding into the U.S. economy. It’s all thanks to the ingenuity of American workers and job-creators, with an assist from Republican policies. Just this year, more than one million new jobs have been created. More than three million new jobs since January 2017. The unemployment rate has sunk to 3.8 percent. It hasn’t been that low in eighteen years.
“And, in a big shift from the deeply uneven Obama era, communities all across America are getting in on the action. Rural areas led the whole nation in relative job creation last year. Republicans are proud of the historic tax reform and dramatic regulatory reform that helped make this happen. But in addition to those nationwide policies, we’re also delivering targeted strategies to help the specific communities that have suffered the most.
“In many parts of the country, including my home state of Kentucky, the Obama-era economic lag was intertwined with another major problem -- the opioid epidemic. By one estimate, in 2016, more than two million Americans were addicted to opioids. This crisis that’s shattering families and communities is not an isolated medical issue. There’s a reason why experts describe many of these fatalities as, quote, ‘deaths of despair.’ It is, in part, a symptom of declining opportunity and communities falling behind. Recent studies suggest that opioid use increased the most in precisely the communities where employment rates had fallen the most -- particularly in the manufacturing sector.
“Complex problems demand comprehensive solutions. And that’s exactly what this Congress will continue to deliver. We’re attacking this from all angles. In strong bipartisan fashion, we’ve passed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act and the 21st Century Cures Act to bolster prevention, treatment, and law enforcement. I recently introduced the CAREER Act, to help recovering addicts find jobs and stable housing and get back on their feet. And the Senate allocated billions in resources for treatment and prevention on the front lines.
“The robust federal response is helping our first responders and professionals combat the dangers of abuse. But as is always the case, major challenges are rarely solved here in Washington. Congress can provide resources and support to vulnerable communities. But often, we do the most good by getting government’s foot off the brake and letting American innovators get back to business.
“I recently heard some great news from one private-sector problem-solver in my home state of Kentucky. US WorldMeds, in my hometown of Louisville, has spent the last fifteen years working to bring relief to the millions of Americans touched by opioid addiction. They’ve been working on introducing a medicine in the United States to help ease the symptoms of withdrawal. And just last month, we got word they’ve received FDA approval.
“US WorldMeds’ CEO Breck Jones believes that this non-narcotic medicine can help more addicts kick the habit altogether. I had the opportunity to visit US WorldMeds’ facility last year. I was so impressed by what I saw. Now, that team can scale up their efforts and begin getting their treatment into the hands of Americans whose lives it could help transform. All of it made easier when Washington D.C. offers targeted support where it needs to, but mostly gets out of the way of innovators. Talk about a winning combination.”
Related Issues: Opioid Abuse