Continuing The Fight Against The Opioid & Heroin Crisis

‘An Estimated 2 Million People In The U.S. Are Addicted To Prescription Opioids’

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “This legislation will also allow us to fight back against the opioid and heroin crisis while bolstering medical innovation and treatments at the same time. It contains funding for the programs Congress authorized in the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, continued funding for the 21st Century Cures Act to attack opioid abuse, plus additional funds to combat the prescription opioid and heroin crisis that has devastated communities across the nation….  My home state of Kentucky has been hit particularly hard by this epidemic, and helping our families and communities overcome this assault remains a top priority for me.” (Sen. McConnell, Press Release, 5/01/2017)

$1.1 Billion To Combat The Opioid And Heroin Epidemics

The Fiscal Year 2017 Omnibus spending bill includes $1.1 billion in funding for prevention, treatment, and enforcement programs to help communities across the country suffering from the opioid and heroin epidemics.

The 2016 CARA Bill Was ‘The Most Sweeping Drug Legislation In Years’

The 2016 CARA bill was a “…bipartisan effort to address the heroin and opioid epidemic, which has ravaged much of the country...” (“Democrats Funding Demand Threatens To Derail Opioid Bill,” Politico Pro, 7/05/2016)

‘The United States Is In The Throes Of An Opioid Abuse Epidemic,’ ‘An Estimated 2 Million People In The U.S. Are Addicted To Prescription Opioids’

“An estimated 2 million people in the U.S. are addicted to prescription opioids, and an average of 91 Americans die every day from an overdose of those painkillers or their illicit cousin, heroin.” (“Overcoming Opioids: When Pills Are A Hospital's Last Resort,” The Associated Press, 5/02/2017)

“Experts say the United States is in the throes of an opioid abuse epidemic, causing 91 overdose deaths each day. Yet the total number of opioid-related deaths may still be underestimated, suggests new research from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” (“Opioid Epidemic May Be Underestimated, CDC Report Says,” CNN, 4/25/2017)

  • VIRGINIA: “As opioid overdose deaths continue to surge, one drug has come out ahead of all the other killers in Virginia - and many may not have known they were even using it. Fentanyl became the deadliest drug in the state last year, surging past heroin and prescription painkillers. Evidence that the painkiller epidemic gave rise to a new wave of heroin use has continued to grow, with illegal opioid deaths outnumbering prescription opioid deaths since 2013. Of the 1,133 people who died due to opioid overdoses last year, fentanyl contributed to 618 deaths, heroin contributed to 448 deaths, and prescription opioids contributed to 469 deaths.” (“In Virginia's Opioid Epidemic, This Drug Is The Top Killer,” Richmond Times-Dispatch, 5/02/2017)
  • UTAH: “The rate of prescription opioids dispensed in Utah grew 30 percent from 2002 to 2015, statistics from the department show. Nearly 300 Utah residents died of opioid overdoses in 2015, according to the latest data available from the department. ‘Given the high number of deaths associated with prescription opioids, understanding the risks of opioids is vital to patient safety,’ said Angela Dunn, deputy state epidemiologist for the health department.” (“Campaign Aims To Combat Growing Opioid Abuse, Overdoses In Utah,” CBS News, 4/30/2017)
  • KENTUCKY: “Experts point to the heroin and opioid epidemic over the last decade for the rising number of children orphaned and/or essentially abandoned by their parents…. Anecdotally … school administrators in Kentucky say they have seen more and more grandparents or other relatives seeking social services and counseling for children whose parents can no longer care for them as a direct result of heroin or opioid addiction.” (“A Generation Of Heroin Orphans,” CNN, 5/01/2017)
  • COLORADO: “The opioid epidemic is turning heads at local hospitals because some medical centers are seeing a dramatic increase in babies having opioid withdrawal syndrome. Dr. Steven Simerville at St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center in Pueblo [Colorado] says there is an issue with opioids in general, but heroin is one of many opioids babies are being born with, especially in the last three years. Simerville says in 2014, St. Mary-Corwin saw six babies with opioid withdrawal syndrome, but in 2015, there were 17.” (“Pueblo Hospitals Treat Babies For Opioids,” KKTV News, 4/30/2017)
  • MICHIGAN: “Opioid abuse and deaths from it are on the rise in the U.S., and Michigan is one of the states seeing a significant increase. Almost 2,000 people died from drug abuse in 2015 in Michigan, a 13 percent increase from 2014, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Drug Enforcement Agency. Michigan also saw a 13 percent increase the previous year as well.” (“Michigan Targets Deadly Opioid Rise,” The Associated Press, 4/16/2017)
  • OREGON: “More than 15,000 people died in America from overdoses involving prescription opioids in 2015, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Oregon, more drug poisoning deaths involve prescription opioids than any other type of drug. The Oregon Health Authority says an average of three Oregonians die every week from prescription opioid overdose.” (“Oregon Lawmakers Try to Stem Opioid Epidemic,” The Associated Press, 4/10/2017)


Related Issues: Appropriations, Opioid Abuse