Over the past several months, I have seen firsthand the scale of the heroin crisis in our State. I have met with the countless individuals in Maine that are fighting on the frontlines against the opioid epidemic, including treatment providers, social service networks, law enforcement agencies, families of victims, and recovering addicts.
These individuals, from all different walks of life, backgrounds and disciplines, are working tirelessly to curb and end the alarming crisis in Maine. Despite their dedicated efforts, this epidemic continues to grow and impact more and more families.
The fact is these individuals need the tools and resources to provide critical steps to help end this tragedy in Maine. However, right now, they simply don’t have them.
The heroin crisis is not a partisan issue. People in Maine and all across America are stepping up to the plate to fight heroin abuse. Congress must follow their example.
As someone who has lost a family member to drug addiction, I know firsthand the harm that it can cause for everyone involved. That is why I am proud the House acted decisively this month to address this alarming epidemic in Maine and across our Nation.
Members of both parties joined together to provide our frontline workers with the tools and support they need to make a difference at the local level. Among the bills that we passed was the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016, or CARA bill. This bill comprehensively reforms the government’s approach to the opioid crisis. It ensures that treatment providers, activists and recovering addicts at the local level receive the support they need from the federal government.
I also had the opportunity to speak on the House Floor in strong support of the Nurturing and Supporting (NAS) Healthy Babies Act, of which I am a proud original cosponsor and which also passed the House with strong bipartisan support. It is unacceptable that thousands of children across America are being born with heroin withdrawal symptoms. This important piece of legislation brings us one step closer to protecting the promise of America for future generations.
On behalf of all the Maine victims of this terrible epidemic, and the dedicated people working to end this heartbreaking situation, I am proud to act with Republicans and Democrats to get this critical legislation passed.