Fleischmann, Alexander Welcome Fight Against Opioid Epidemic

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Rep. Chuck Fleischmann on Thursday released the following statement in response to President Trump’s declaration of opioid abuse as a public health emergency:

“Today, President Trump declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency, bringing badly needed additional federal resources to combat a crisis that has had a dire effect on Tennessee. In 2016 alone, over 1,186 Tennesseans lost their lives to opioid overdose.

To put that in perspective, that is 18 out of every 100,000 people.

"The announcement of this public health emergency will authorize the Department of Health and Human Services to direct public health funds to address opioid abuse, provide increased training for federally employed prescribers, and provide regulatory flexibility to responding agencies. Additionally, President Trump announced support for an initiative I have long been championing in Congress, efforts by the National Institute of Health to find non-addictive pain treatment alternatives.

"I support the President’s call to action on this issue and want to thank him for his commitment in the long and arduous fight to end this horrible epidemic.”

Senator Lamar Alexander said, “President Trump’s announcement today provides important leadership in helping states tackle the opioid crisis head on. Last year, 1,631 Tennesseans died of a drug overdose - 12 percent more than the year before - and the highest rate of drug overdose deaths in recorded history in Tennessee. Nearly 3 out of 4 of the drug overdoses in our state are related to the opioid crisis. This is a crisis not just in Tennessee, but across the country, with 91 Americans dying every day from an opioid overdose. Congress took important steps last year by passing the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act - which established new programs and encouraged those on the front lines to work together to combat substance abuse, especially opioid abuse - and providing $1 billion in new funding for states to fight the opioid crisis as a part of the 21st Century Cures Act. I look forward to working closely with the Trump administration to see what additional steps Congress should take to help states, doctors, and families address and solve this tragic problem.”


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