WASHINGTON -- Representatives Frank Guinta and Anne Kuster, founding members of Congress’ Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic, held a Washington, D.C., briefing today to explore treatment methods that would improve addiction recovery rates.
“Republican and Democrat members from across the country are joining us to prevent more Americans from falling victim to heroin abuse, often starting with prescription opiates and ending in death for tens of thousands,” said Rep. Guinta (NH01).“For Granite Staters who have lost hope, my colleagues and I are trying to restore it – to direct more resources to a problem in desperate need of solutions.
“I was proud to help convene today’s briefing with Congressman Guinta and the Task Force. I encourage our friends in the House and the Senate to take legislative action to help us put an end to the growing heroin epidemic,” Rep. Kuster (NH02) added.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that drug-induced overdose deaths – opiates and heroin responsible for most – werethe leading cause of injury-related deaths in the United States in 2013, the latest year for which CDC figures are available.
Click image to watch the today’s briefing
Since 2010, deaths due to heroin overdose have increased nearly 300 percent. The Task Force heard testimony about Methadone and Naltrexone, which can help addicts to avoid relapse, as well as psychological therapy, which can increase their chances of long-term success. “Communities are the key to recovery,”said Rep. Guinta.
“We need to do a better job communicating the dangers, intervening in the early stages of heroin abuse, and monitoring addicts’ progress.”
He introduced the STOP ABUSE Act with Rep. Kuster to strengthen local treatment, prevention and law enforcement programs.“A big part of our job on the Task Force is to collect and share information with constituents, who may need help or know someone who does. ”
At the briefing, experts from the American Psychological Association, National Institute on Drug Abuse, and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services also addressed Reps. Bruce Poliquin, Jackie Walorski, Steve Knight, Elizabeth Esty, Keith Rothfus, Donald Norcross, Barbara Comstock, Ryan Costello and John Sarbanes.