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Latta Participates in White House Event Addressing the Opioid Crisis

Washington, October 26, 2017 | Drew Griffin (202-225-6405)
Congressman Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green) attended an event at the White House this afternoon where President Donald Trump laid out steps that the administration is taking to address the opioid crisis including declaring a national emergency. Declaring a national emergency will focus federal efforts on combating the epidemic. Some of the efforts include allowing federal agencies to overcome bureaucratic delays, developing non-addictive pain medication, working to stem the flow of illegal drugs into the country, reducing the demand, breaking up gangs, and working with local and state governments to find innovative approaches such as drug courts and other community-based initiatives. More than 64,000 Americans lost their lives to unintentional drug overdoses in 2016 and an estimated 2.1 million Americans are addicted to prescription opioids.

“The President’s emergency declaration is a major step in addressing this horrific crisis,” said Latta. “Making this a priority of federal agencies will help coordinate the national response, which will assist state and local governments, law enforcement, and advocates that are addressing this issue. In that vein, I’m introducing legislation to ensure we are using the best data and information available to find solutions. We can’t wait any longer to throw our full weight behind combating this problem.”

Rep. Latta has continued to take a lead in fighting the opioid crisis in Congress. Yesterday, Latta questioned federal officials on their response to the crisis and received assurances that they will collaborate on legislation he is introducing to improve data collection on the epidemic. The information would help federal, state, and local officials develop the most effective strategies to prevent addiction, treat addicted individuals, and keep prescription drugs from falling into the wrong hands.

Latta has also previously participated in a roundtable with the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. Last week, he held a forum in Defiance with representatives from federal agencies, local advocates, law enforcement, judges, and health care professionals to discuss obstacles and possible solutions to the crisis.

In 2016, 4,050 Ohio residents died of unintentional drug overdoses, the highest in the nation and a 32 percent increase over 2015. Rep. Latta recently released a public service announcement encouraging people to participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on October 28.

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