Energy and Commerce Committee Passes Latta Bill to Improve Information on Opioid Epidemic
Today, legislation authored by Congressman Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green) to combat the opioid crisis, H.R. 4284, the Indexing Narcotics, Fentanyl, and Opioids (INFO) Act, was approved by the Energy and Commerce (E&C) Committee. The INFO Act helps state and local governments, advocates, health care providers, and law enforcement by collecting and aggregating data and information relating to the crisis and making it available in one location. As a member of the E&C Committee, Congressman Latta has been a leader on addressing the opioid crisis, including having attended meetings at the White House to discuss the issue. The INFO Act is one of the nearly sixty bills that the E&C Committee is passing over the next two weeks to combat the opioid crisis.
“From the opioid summits I held in Findlay and Defiance to individual meetings I’ve had with law enforcement, health care professionals, and advocates — it’s clear that a lack of information is making it difficult to fully address the crisis,” said Latta. “Putting the best data and information in one location would help local officials better access resources to help their community. I’ve worked with my colleagues on the Energy and Commerce Committee to find solutions to this epidemic, and each of these bills will help with addiction prevention, limiting the opioid supply, and education efforts. With more than 115 lives lost each day to overdoses, we must act now.”
In 2016, 4,050 Ohio residents died of unintentional drug overdoses, the highest in the nation and a 32% increase over 2015. Overdose deaths are skyrocketing with 5,232 lives lost in a 12-month period between July 2016 and June 2017 – a 39 percent increase from the previous year and three times the national average. More than 64,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2016, including illicit drugs and prescription opioids. That number nearly doubled over the past decade, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.