Protecting District 7 from the Opioid Crisis

The opioid epidemic has affected thousands of victims and their families; unfortunately, it has touched every community in our nation, including Houston. In 2016 alone, 2,831 Texans died of an opioid overdose, which is a 7.4 percent increase from 2015.Additionally, more than half of all drug overdose deaths in 2016 involved opioids, and 115 Americans are lost every day to the opioid crisis. I refuse to accept these numbers. That’s why I voted in support of over 30 proposals that advance real solutions to help the millions of Americans who are in crisis or who are fighting to save a loved one from opioid addiction.

As this epidemic evolves and grows in its severity, our approach must be stronger and bolder. This Congress is committed to fighting this epidemic on all fronts; through treatment and recovery, addiction prevention, protecting communities, and fighting fentanyl. These bills tackle the crisis by improving and expanding access to treatment and recovery services and ensuring doctors have access to their patients’ addiction history.

Another critical part in combating the opioid crisis is protecting our communities. This week, I voted to give the U.S. Customs and Border Protection more resources to seize high-risk international mail shipments of synthetic opioids into the United States.

This is not the first action Congress has taken, and it certainly won’t be the last. Congress passed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act and the 21st Century Cures Act in 2016. Additionally, as the only member of the Appropriations Committee from Southeast Texas, I made sure that there is nearly $4 billion in the 2018 omnibus funding bill to combat the opioid epidemic

While no single bill can end the opioids scourge, the proposals we passed this week represent a major step toward ending prescription drug abuse in America. I support the physicians, law enforcement officers, and first responders who are on the front lines of this epidemic every day. I’m also committed to protecting the authority of doctors to lawfully prescribe medicine to patients that suffer from chronic pain.

You can learn more about what House Republicans are doing to fight the opioid crisis here.

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