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The Battle Against Opioid Abuse

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January 06, 2017 | Ian Martorana (202-225-3031) | comments

This week, Governor Walker has convened a special legislative session to combat opioid abuse and heroin addiction in Wisconsin. As reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Gov. Scott Walker on Thursday called for a special legislative session to fight heroin addiction and ordered state agencies to ramp up their response to a drug that kills hundreds in Wisconsin each year. 

“This is a public health crisis, and that’s why I’m calling a special session of the Legislature and directing state agencies to ramp up the state’s response,” Walker said in his statement.

In Wisconsin and around the country, opioid abuse is a serious problem. Action isn’t just being taken on the state level; Congress is doing its part too. The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA)—bipartisan legislation to tackle America’s opioid epidemic—was signed into law on July 22, 2016.

CARA puts private- and public-sector experts on the case to identify best practices for pain management. In other words, it keeps an eye on what’s working and gets rid of what isn’t.

This bill will require the government to promote education and awareness of opioid abuse. Knowledge is power. By better educating our communities, government officials, and health care professionals alike, we can work toward a safer, healthier America, less plagued by opioid addiction and abuse.

But CARA isn’t the only important piece of legislation passed by Congress to fight opioid addiction. Funding for the 21st Century Cures Act of 2016, signed into law on December 13, included $500 million—all of which was fully offset—for states to respond to the opioid abuse crisis.

If we work together, we can defeat this scourge on our communities.

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