Because of its disproportionate impact on young lives, the opioid epidemic cost our country almost 1.7 million years of lost life in 2016 alone. It is taking a huge toll on our children, and it’s our job to keep it from doing the same to the next generation.
This dire situation demands action. Now is the time to “double down” in the fight against this epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, prescription opioid overdoses have quadrupled since 1999 and continue to be the leading cause of accidental deaths in the United States. Between 2014 through 2015alone, increases in prescription drug overdoses in 19 states were considered statistically significant, and all but nine states have seen increases in overdose deaths.
A heartbroken mother whose son died of a heroin overdose is hoping a Valentine's Day letter about him to President Trump will "warm" his heart and urge the federal government to do more about the crisis. Sue Kruczek, whose son, Nick, died when he was 20 years old, plans to send the letter to the president Saturday, hoping it makes it to his desk by the holiday.
Mary Bono served as a U.S. Congresswoman from California from 1998-2013, where she co-founded the Congressional Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Caucus with Rep. Hal Rogers of Kentucky. In her current role as co-convener of the "Collaborative for Effective Opioid Policies," she works to engage diverse stakeholders behind a comprehensive policy strategy to reduce prescription opioid abuse and promote treatment options.
Governors met to discuss the best methods to combat the problem of prescription drug abuse. Guest speakers included former Representative Mary Bono (R-CA), co-founder of the Congressional Csucus on Prescription Drug Abuse, who said the current debate surrounding the legalization and decriminalization of marijuana was clouding anti-drug messages targeted toward young people.
Sue Kruczek speaks in favor of a bill to cap the supply of opioid prescriptions. Nick died at age 20 of a heroin overdose after initially taking prescription opioids.