The opioid epidemic has been affecting every person and household across the country. According to the CDC, roughly 115 people die each day from an opioid overdose in the United States. From an economic standpoint, prescription opioid and illicit drug abuse costs the U.S. more than $272 billion per year.
The House has passed more than 70 bills that fight the opioid crisis. These are bills that support treatment and recovery, educate on prevention, protect our communities by supplying law enforcement with the resources they need, and fight against fentanyl. This is the largest federal response to a U.S. drug crisis in the history of our country. I have supported many pieces of legislation and sponsored bills like the STOP OD Act, which would extend grants to expand opioid addiction prevention education programs and training for law enforcement and first responders to treat an overdose directly in our communities.
This epidemic is sweeping through our nation like a natural disaster and it is time we start treating it like one. I have, on many occasions, called on the administration and Congress to send emergency relief funding directly to our communities like we do when there is a natural disaster in this country. Lives are being lost every day, families are being broken apart, and we need to do something about it now.