Opioid addiction is a serious subject. In part because of how many American families are faced with this reality, and in part because of how lawmakers have mismanaged it. This crisis is having a major impact on Orange County communities and our economy, and we need to start thinking of new ways to address the problem.
While a recently published study found that the overall rate of drug/alcohol overdose deaths in Orange County has increased by 82% since 2000, this problem has been amplified by the widespread availability of shoddy, unlicensed rehab facilities.
Here’s what I want to do:
- Fix our laws to ensure that residential recovery facilities are properly licensed to operate for the safety and benefit of residents.
- Empower public safety officials to do what they can to get illegal drugs off our streets. But we cannot simply arrest our way out of this problem, as a majority of overdose deaths since 2000 involved prescription drugs.
- End the overprescription of painkillers, while public officials prioritize treatment and prevention efforts.
- Stop treating drug addiction as a crime, or as a product that corporations can recklessly profit from. Substance abuse disorders are a health issue, and those suffering from them are in dire need of safe and dependable treatment.
In Congress, I am committed to working with state and local officials to make addiction treatment more responsible and ethical. Here’s what I need from you: sign the petition and tell my colleagues in Congress, “it’s time to hold Big Pharma accountable and make them fund opioid treatment programs across the country.