tv National Substance Abuse Report CSPAN September 21, 2017 4:14pm-5:58pm EDT
radio app. health care just one of the issues congress has to deal with when their return next week, there are a number of items facing an end of the month deadline, the latest attempt to change the health care law and both the house and senate are expected to take up funding for children's health insurance program known as chip and work on funding faa programs. watch live coverage of the house and senate on cspan and the senate on cspan 2. the substance abuse and mem health services administration held a press conference recently to discuss their latest report on behavioral health issues, speakers included health and human services secretary dr. tom price. this is an hour and 40 minutes. >> good morning. >> and welcome.
i am palo delveccio. each year sampson releases the most recent findings from the national service on drug use and health. today sampson is releasing results from the 2016 survey. here today to present today the key substance use and mental health indicators from the report. today also marks sampson's 28th annual recovery month observa e observance, recovery month is special to me for many reasons, i among many in the room, and thousands of people across this great nation and you proof and evidence that treatment works and people do recover.
thank you recovery month provides an opportunity for us to celebrate those americans recovering from drug abuse and m mental illness and it also celebrates the daily work of advocates and grass roots organizations and family members and friends who have joined their loved ones on their journeys of recovery. to begin today's program, i am honored to introduce our assistant secretary mccants. she is a graduate of the university of connecticut school of medicine. dr. mccants cats has extensive experience in the care and treatment of those living with substance abuse and mental disorders, she's board certified in general psychiatry and
addiction psychiatry and the treatment of mental disorders and substance abuse disorders. her experience in federal and state agencies, equip her with the multifaceted expertise needed to address today's behavioral health challenges. please join me in welcoming snich assistant secretary mccants kats. >> thank you, and good morning. it's really great to be here. welcome everyone here at the national press club and those watching our webcast. i am pleased to join you today and it's my honor to present data highlights on today's national survey on drug use and health. it's also my distinct privilege. recovery month is celebrated by
countless americans who are living in recovery and our loved ones and by those who are just embarking on those who are reclaiming their health and reclaiming their lives. our country faces serious challenges in mental health and substance abuse at this time and as to every challenge we must rise to the occasion and meet the challenge with co-ousordina of effort and leadership. we are fortunate to have dr. price who buy brings a strong commitment to substance abuse and the opiod crisis. dr. price was sworn in as the 23rd secretary of health and human services on february 21, 2017, he brings a lifetime of service toed ed advancing the qy of health care in america both as a physician and as a
policymaker. trained as an orthopedic surgeon, dr. price held leadership roles in the atlanta medical community, having served at grady memorial hospital as well as on the faculty at emery university school of medicine. as with many physicians and health occasion pcare providers price's experience in caring for patients also gave him a unique perspective about the impact of public policy on the practice of medicine. with the goal of improving access to quality health care, dr. price ran for public office and was elected to four terms and was elected to the u.s. house of representatives serving georgia's sixth congressional district for 12 years. dr. price has been a steady advocate for patient centered health care systems. quality choices innovation and
responsiveness to patient care needs, as secretary for health and human services, dr. price remains committed to these principles, administering a wide array of services, supporting life saving search and protecting and
serving all americans, please join me in welcoming secretary price. >> thank you so very much for that kind introduction. good morning. what a great joy it is to be here with so many dedicated folks to an issue that deserves so much attention for our nation. i want to thank dr. mccants-kats for that tremendous interdurodun
a . we are tremendously excited to have you in your tenure there at 156 sampson. the national survey on drug use and health is a major task, i don't have to tell most of you that, getting reliable and comparable information is vital to our assessment and policy processes. this monumental effort is absolutely crucial to understanding the challenges that we face in knowing how we need to focus our efforts. thanks go to all of the hard working folks at sampson for their dedication in prodiucing this survey and this year is no exception. thanks to the acting head of sampson for putting this together.
and also to palo delveccio, i just like to say that name. the director of afternosampsont health services and to kimberly johnson at the scenter of substance abuse treatment. and i want to just give a special heart felt thanks to emanuel and esther and zack for participating and sharing their story and celebrating recovery month and sharing their personal experiences in the struggle with substance abuse. the purpose of our work here today is to shed more sunlight on the public health issues and challenges that require sober reflection and honest, candid
evaluation and planning, when our team received this briefing earlier this year on this form from the experts at sampson, i'm told it was the first time in years that the hhs secretary had received this briefing in person. and that's not because hhs secretaries don't receive data briefings all the time, it's because we're at a most difficult point in terms of this battle against addiction and drug abuse, and we at hhs and the trump administration have chosen to make this a priority. this survey reflects the urgency that we have in two of our clinical priority areas, there's some good news points that imtd li i would like to share, one is that the opiod crisis, the report didn't show that the opiod crisis is more prevalent than in 2016. but the number of overdose
deaths continue to skyrocket. and as all of you who toil in this crisis know that this is a deeply complicated story. but the fact that we're not seeing this scourge grow any further is a testament to the work of communities large and small. but we have also heard of so much tragedy as well, because the rates of addiction to heroin and misuse of prescription opiods that we're seeing are incredibly high and the cost in terms of lives cost is still rapidly growing. tired's survey estimates that 948,000 american adults used heroin in the past year, 0.4% of the population, that's similar to the numbers that we have had over the past few years, however it is significantly higher than the numbers that were gathered in 2002 and 2013.
we see similar trends in the use of opiods, relatively stable right now, but it's so much worse than it was just a few short years ago. and the situation is worsening significantly, thanks to the rising intensity and frequency of misuse and the emergence of illicitly used fentanyl. the opiod crisis is bringing a bigger and big e cost across our land. we saw 52,000 drug overdose debts in 2015, and the numbers are no better in 2016 and they certainly are no better this year. what that means is that we're lying a total of more individuals than were lost in the entire vietnam war, the entire 15 plus years of the vietnam war, we're losing every single year to drug overdoses, that's unacceptable to me, it's unacceptable to the president and i know it's unacceptable to every single person in this
room. preliminary data for 2016 says the number is likely to exceed 60,000 overdose deaths in 2016 and as i mentioned again the numbers this year are no better. at hhs under the trump administration we have unveiled a new strategy on behalf of the american people. improving prevention treatment and recovery, including the full range of medication assisted treatment. second is making sure that overdose reversing drugs are as omnipresent and available as possible. third is strengthening our understanding of the crisis through better public health. and now grants that the cdc put out this week, fourth is providing funding for cutting edge research in understanding how to take care of it better. and fifth and finally and as
important as any is advancing the way in which we manage pain in this nation. one of the interesting aspects of the survey is that 2/3 of americans misusing opiods said they did so to treat physical pain, we need to offer those folks a better option, a nonaddictive, a nonopiod option to treating pain. sadly opiod use and abuse is not the some serious behavioral health problem that we have facing america. another is one of our department's other clinical priorities and that is severe mental illness. the overall share of americans with serious mental illness, generally meaning schizophrenia and bipolar disorder has remained steady in around 4% of the general population. one trend and finding in this population is that the -- serious mental illness has continued to rise for the past
couple of years and this year exceeds the number of older americans for the first time ever in taking this survey. this is a disturbing trend and one that we need to better understand. again, the survey found that one-third of americans, one-third of americans with serious mental illness received no treatment in the past year, a finding that's been steady for a number of years now. we know how to treat these diseases. failing to provide treatment is a serious indictment of our current policies, it would be like one-third of americans with cancer or diabetes or heart disease go without treatment, something none of us would tolerate. the gusood news is that there i something that can be done about it. last year hhs had the honor of holding the first meeting of the serio serious mental illness -- report
to congress on not just the challenge, but the kinds of solutions that we ought to be putting forward and i'm really pleased to say that from my standpoint, and perspective after 12 years in congress and now a short time in this position, we have a congress that appears to be receptive to the kinds of need and resources necessary to make positive changes in the area of serious mental illness. there are three numbers that i would like you to keep in mind when you're thinking about serious mental illness, they are 10, 10 and 10, 10 million, 10 years and 10 times. 10 million americans as today's survey found live with serious mental illness in any given year, 10 years. on average they live lives 10 years shorter than the average american population and some estimates show that gap to be significantly greater than that.
and 10 times, this is one of the areas that i think it's incredibly important for us to concentrate on. there are 10 times more americans with serious mental illness in prison than there are in in patient psychiatric facilities, a significant indictment on the challenge that we have. mental health care and a particular serious mental illness has not received the emphasis or the resources that it has in the past and we're intent on turning that around. hhs and the trump administration are committed to tackling it and committed to determining what we can do to ensure that people with serious mental illness get the treatment they need and their families have the tools they need to make that happen. so tied's report, with the upcoming speakers, with opiod crisis and serious mental illness, the good news is that it is within our power to turn
around these trends and to turn these numbers in the right direct theations. doing so will enable millions of americans to live longer healthier lives endowed with the purpose and meaning we all want for our children, for our neighbor gs and for our fellow americans. i want to thank each and every one of them and i want to thank each
and every one of you for attending today and for your interest and your concern about these extremely important public health challenges, thank you so much. god bless. [ applause ]
>> national leadership in behavioral health and he epidemiolo epidemiology. and promotes basic and applied research and statistical methodology designs and special data collection and analytic projects. please welcome, help me become darrell to the podium to share information specific in its design and function. [ applause ] >> thank you, palo delveccio,
it's good. the national survey on drug use and health is an annual survey of the civilian noninstitutionalized population of united states aged 12 years or older. hundreds of field interviews hold face-to-face interviews with people throughout the country on sensitive issues, it is hard but rewarding works, with their support, nsdu ara --e of the strblgts is the large nationally representative sample which allows for the examination of specific subgroups in the united states, such as adolescence, another strength is the stability 09 of the sample and survey design that allows multiple data to combine
behaviors such as drug use and to tract trends in those bl behaviors over time. however new drugs are introduced into the market and updates are needed to the questionnaire in order to stay more relevant. questions are periodically updated with leads to a break in the eight to compare data. in 2015, a number of changes were made to the questionnaire and data collection procedures. these changes improved the quality of the date that collected and encourages current substance abuse and research poll-as a result, our 2016 first findings report, which is now available on our website provides long-term trends for many topics, such as heroin use, depression and mental health service use, however it does not have long-term trends for pain receivers, methamphetamines,
substance abuse disorder and treatment. we look forward to the 2018 and 2019 surveys and having a full four years of data points to share with you in the near future that would re-establish trend lines in these critical areas. thank you and i turn the program back to assistant secretary dr. mccants-kats who will share some findings of the 2016 survey which have particular policy relevance. thank you. >> well, i'm happy to have the opportunity to talk to you about the 2016 national survey on drug use and health. let me just tell you a little bit more about it. every year, the national survey on drug use and health, or nsdua as we call it. surveys 67,500 americans about their use of substances and
about their difficulties with symptoms of mental illness. i want to start by thanking the participants who shared their answers with surveyors. you also heard secretary price mention our leadership at sampson, it's my privilege to work with these leaders, but i also want to acknowledge our samsa staff who work very hard on the nsdua every year and who also work in communities and with our states and stake holders to improve the beha behavioral health of the nation so i do want to thank all of those who work at samsa, i have had the opportunity to meet them one by one and i have been very impressed. so nsdua has been completed every year since 1990. so we have a lot of years of data now.
and even though, as darrell mentioned that the study was redesigned in 2015, there are a number of measures that were able to trend and they do show consistency from prior years, for example tobacco and alcohol use are trending downward by age group and prescription drug use also appears to be modestly decreasing. but there are also areas of concern that we see from the nsdua and i'm going to spend my time talking about those areas, but first let's talk for a minute about the prevalence of mental and substance abuse disorders in america, and this is data that the nsdua gives us every year. what we learned in 2016 is that 18.3% of people over the age of 12 in the united states or 44.7 million people had a mental
illness. and 23% of those people had a serious mental illness. now when i say serious mental illness, what i mean is that these are people who are diagnosed with a mental illness of such a severity, that it impairs activities of their lives. and in addition, we have another 20 million people or 7.5% of the population who meet diagnostic criteria for a substance use disorder and when we look more closely at that datdata, we see that 37% of them struggle with illicit drugs, 35% struggle with alcohol and 12.7% struggle with ill list sit drugs and alcohol. when we leek more closely at the illicit substances used by americans, by far and away marijuana remains the most frequently used illicit substance at 13.9% of our
population, and after that is psycho hetherapeutic drugs, tho are prescribed medications that have abuse -- they are still lats, sedative hypnotics and opiod medications and what you'll see in just a moment, is that opiod medications are the majority of the misused psycho therapeutic drugs, you'll see at the bottom, heroin .4% of the 3 population are currently heroin users, if we look -- take a deep look at opiod use in the united states, we see that millions of people are continuing to misuse prescription pain relievers, 11.8 million people were opiod
misusers, that's 4.4% of our population, and 11.5 million were prescription opiod misusers and if we look more closely at the medications that are being used by people who engage in this behavior, we see that the majority are misusing hydrocodone followed by oxycodone, and following that is prescribed uses of fentanyl. we see 641,000 people report that they misuse both heroin and prescription pain medications. but when we look at the adverse outcomes that we're seeing from opiods, we can see that it is not driven by increases in numbers of use users, so what we
have seen you here is data that for 2016 heroin use is flat in the united states, so we're not seeing big increases in the number of heroin users. similarly for prescription pain relievers, we actually have seen a small decline in the number of people that are misusing prescription pain relievers. we have about 2.1 million americans who meet diagnostic criteria for opiod use disorder and would need treatment for those disorders and what you see on the right side of the slide is that only 21% obtained treatment for their opiod use disorder and of those 21%, 37.5% of people that are heroin users got treatment. versus only 17.5%. of people who are prescription pain reliever addicted.
ing and that's important because the other thing that we're seeing is the large stunning increase in deaths related to heroin use. nsdua tells us that in 2002 we had 404,000 americans that were heroin users. by 2016, that number increases to 948,000. but when we look at deaths from heroin, we see that in 2002, we had just a little over 2,000 debt deaths, but by 2016, this is estimated data from cdc, 219 people died of heroin use. so 230% increase in heroin users
over that 2002 to 2016, people in this country using heroin are being poisoned. this is hugely, hugely concerning. and it really underscores the need that we increase access to treatment and get people the prevention services, the treatment services and the recovery services that they need. and now i want to take just a few minutes to talk about another finding that's very concerning. that is the prevalence of serious mental illness in young adults, what we call them transitional age use aged 18 to 25, and what we see here is that in 2008, 3.8% had serious mental
illness, but that has risen in 2016, to 5.9%. and we also see that just a little over half of these young adults were able to access treatment, so 2 million people and just a little over half of them were able to access treatment for their serious mental illness. these are the most serious disorders, these are the ones that affect people's ability to function and only half of the people in this age group with this disorders were able to access the care that they needed. and this has big consequences because when people have serious mental disorders, they will have increases in adverse consequences such as suicidality, and what we see on the national inge opportunishti
health, we see a significant in thoughts of suicide, a significant increase in people making a plan to commit suicide and a statistically significant increase in the number of people who attempted suicide. why is this happening? the national survey on drug use and health is a national survey, we can't make inference as to why this is happening, but one thing that we can glean from the national survey is that we have large numbers of youth that are using illicit substances, 8 million 18 to 25-year-olds, 23% of that population, there are 38% of individuals that in that age group who engage in binge alcohol use, when i say binge
alcohol use, if you're a man, you drink five or more drinks in a session, and if you're a woman, you drink four alcohol drinks at a session. and 10% of this is what we define as heavy alcohol users and noes are people who have five or more binges a month. why is that important? because we know that substance abuse and addiction are and we know that these disorders frequently co-occur, and while we don't know if this is what's driving these increases in serious mental illnesses in this age group, it certainly deserves consideration. and we see that for all age groups and for individuals with both substance use and mental disorders, it's very difficult for them to access treatment. we have to do better.
this is data that tells us that we are not getting the job done for the people of america. we see that if you have a substance use disorder, only 7% of people got specialty care that they needed. if you had any mental disorder, 57% did not receive treatment. a similar findings for people with co-occurring disorders, for people with serious mental illness, as secretary price mentioned, 35% get no treatment. these are people who are terribly impaired by mental illness, we have to do better. for youth, that are aged 12 to 17, we see significant rates of major depression and 59% of them got no treatment. we use this data to help us to plan our programs and we will be taking a close look at this at
samsa, our chief medical yoofr, dr. everette is all right looking at what we can do for transitional age youth, that will be something we will work on over the next few months and we will make something public about what we might be able to do to better help americans suffering with these disorders in that age group, and overall. we are very fortunate that congress provided appropriations in the 21st century survey that samsa as gotten out to the -- and we are in the process of ravrping up treatment for opiod use disorder. we are also ramping up recovery and prevention services. so if you know someone who is an opiate user, a heroin user or if you are a person who has that problem, please look to your
communities for help. we are providing the resources, we'll continue to do that and we're going to do what we need to do to help americans with mental and substance use disorders. i thank you for your attention. and i will now move to introduce to you richard baum who is the acting director of ondcp. the office of national drug control policy works to reduce drug use and it's consequences by leading the development and implementation of u.s. drug policy. richard baum was named by president trump as the acting ondcp secretary in 2016. having served in various capacities for nearly two decades. i have had the pleasure of working with mr. baum, just in
the brief period that i have been at samsa and i can tell you that i'm very happy to have swu someone with his dedication to work >> thank you very much secretary katz, for your kind words and the team, thank you for all your work on this survey. we couldn't make policy on these issues without that and this national investment in data and research is critical to all the work we do. we have to keep that going so we can make informed policy decisions. no, naturally, i'm going to focus on the drug part of the story. some of it has been covered. we have heard an overview of the data. some of it is concerning,
related to marijuana, opioids and cocaine. let me say marijuana use has jumped again. that's a real concern. we see this trend continuing since 2002. past month marijuana use among those aged 18-25, this is the highest use. it's 20.8% of these young adults reported past month marijuana use. that's the highest rate ever over the past 15 years. the year-to-year changes are modest, but the direction is clear. the good news is, for a younger american, those in the 12-17 cohort, their level of marijuana use hasn't been increasing. in fact, it's down a little bit. so, that is wonderful that today's young people, 12-17 are resisting that pressure to use marijuana despite the
misinformation of marijuana and the pressures they face in their young lives. you know, marijuana really is a concern and we worry about all the different age cohorts and their use. the one that focuses on eighth through 12th graders comes out and we'll get the state by state data and we can compare from samhsa and that will look at the variation among states. although i'm encouraged 12-17 folks aren't using marijuana at higher rates. there are clouds on marijuana. it has been declining and exposure to substance use
prevention messages also is declining and making sure we have a prevention message is there and a long-term approach on the drug problem. let me say a few more words on opioids. the survey shows opioid use is flat. cdc shows the overuse deaths continue to climb. on one hand, we are making progress on addressing the opioid epidemic, but as has been pointed out, heroin laced is very serious, leading to more and more opioid overdoses. what's in today's drug supply is terrifying because many of the other drugs from feint noll. talking cocaine, not just heroin, methamphetamine have that in them.
people don't know that tremendous risk they face when they try a drug or buy a drug on the street. they don't know where it comes from. we are seeing these counterfeit pills that have the actual logo printed on them. if you think you went to the street to buy medication that you have previously prescribed to and it looks to same, it could be very deadly. it's tremendous risk. let me turn to cocaine because, really today's survey shows a growing problem with cocaine in the united states. in 2016, we saw the highest level of cocaine use since 2002. the number of cocaine users jumped 26% over 2014 levels. a number that we catch very carefully, past year initiation of the substances has shown a
big jump with cocaine. past year cocaine initiatives for 2016, americans who tried cocaine for the first time reached 1.1 million, a 15-year high. that's 40% more than 2013. so, more americans are seeing cocaine in their community and more americans are trying it. there's little doubt we are seeing this increase of cocaine because of the increased supply coming out of columbia. columbia produces 90% of the cocaine in the united states and cultivation and production is at record levels. in fact, columbia's cocaine production has tripled in the past four years. the wave of cocaine from columbia entering the united states is a threat to our communities. just to give the precise number on the production side, columbian cocaine production went from estimated 235 metric tons up to 710 metric tons in
2016. 235 in 2013, 710 in 2016. so, that's a really concern. while it's critical that we work and we are working, as you pointed out and focused on the opioid epidemic, we have to head off a cocaine epidemic before this takes root. in fact, we are seeing an increase in overdose deaths related to cocaine. they rose to 10,619, that's 52% increase from 2015. that's from preliminary reports that just came out. that number, over 10,000 cocaine fatalities is the highest number ever recorded in a single year. it's important to point out a lot of cocaine fatalities are related to feint noll. it's a concerning number. this is a multifaceted problem. we have to focus, really on the
polly drug problem the country faces. i think as the experts up here know, a lot of people dying from op opioids it's a complicated problem. the president and the administration are working hard to address these threats, including sending funding to address the opioid epidemic at the local level. we are looking at ways to present drug use initiation and addiction in schools, community and media. the president's commission on combatting drug addiction is working on recommendations to best address the epidemic going forward. we got the final report in the end of october and we are working to stop the flow of the dangerous drugs at the border, by sea and through the mail. at the white house, we are working hard to address the different drug threats that face the country and we are happy to have federal partners working on
this as well as partners at the state, local and tribal level. let me talk about recovery. if you ask anyone on the stage, they agree recovery is a key part of the solution to this problem. there are -- [ applause ] there are millions of people in recovery today who are living healthy, meaningful, productive lives. they are everywhere, all over the country. they are in your workplace, in your schools, in your community, your faith community. they are all among us. the journey they have been through to sort of reclaim their lives is an incredible accomplishment and it's encouraging more and more people in recovery are speaking out and sharing their story. they are a critical part of the solution. they are giving back. some are training to be recovery coaches. others are just sharing their story and getting others to take
the critical, difficult first steps into recovery. there's no one path into recovery. frankly, it doesn't matter how somebody gets there, as long as they get there. it matters they have the tools they need to make progress, including pure based recovery and evidence based recovery. president trump strongly supports people in recovery. he has a -- [ applause ] >> he has designated september as national recovery month. in his statement he wrote the following -- soling our nations drug and alcohol problems requires both a strong public health response and a strong public safety response that stems the flow of elicit drugs in our community. during the drug recovery month and throughout the year, let us
remember those who braved their addiction and we pray for those who are suffering transform their lives. finally, let us also thank the family members, friends and health care providers who provide assistance and encouragement to assist those in recovery. the president understands the problem and whole team and administration is working together to do whatever we can to make sure people in recovery get the help they need. we know they need sober housing and a place to live and they need jobs. i would just say that we have people in recovery at our office. we work side by side with them, people in recovery make great employees, they deserve a chance. [ applause ] >> so, we will be working, not just the rest of the month, but
year round to get the message out about the incredible recovery movement in this country and talking abtd what we can do to support the incredible progress that's already happening. thank you so much. real pleasure. [ applause ] [ applause ] >> thank you so much, director baum, well done. it's a pleasure to have you join with us today, the partnership in creating a healthier america
with samhsa. as i noted, i am an individual in long term recovery from mental health and addiction. i am reminded time and time again people like me can and do improve and can and do recover. [ applause ] >> yet, as we have learned from the data today, too many americans are not getting the substance use disorder treatment, the medical health services they need to regain their health and lives. as assistant director mccance-katz said, 35% of adults with ser use mental illness went without the services they needed and half of adolescence went without treatment for depression.
given rates of mental illness are increasing and depressive episodes are increasing, we do need to learn more about what's driving this trend. we need to improve efforts around better and earlier detection and continue ways to explore intervening earlier. i do believe that we can benefit more from closely considering the role that one factor does play. i see a lot of folks here. in the role social media may play, both in terms of helping influence those with mental illness to first of all discuss our symptoms more openly, perhaps being more willing and able to self-identify and seek support. also, others have raised concerns about does social media perhaps restrict the interpersonal social connection that's also a positive protective factor around these issues? we also need to make sure that
there is improved and adequate access to services for children. at samhsa we are working hard to give mental health awareness day, programs such as systems that work with the national institute of mental health around assisting clinically high-risk children and families. given the increase in the percentage of young adults with serious mental illness, i believe we need to look atmore collaborative guidance with many partners. it's exciting, as secretary price noted about the serious mental organization committee, which just held the inaugural meeting one month ago today. bringing together, not just hhs, but two others with national experts to focus on solutions.
early engagement and care, increasing the quality of care, community based support are in focus and within reach. samhsa collaborated with our colleagues on new programs. over the last three years we stood up over 228 first episode psychosis programs around the country. we work closely with our colleagues at the centers for medicare and medicaid services, certified behavior health clinics, collaborated with colleagues at the department of justice and others to expand assisted outpatient treatment services as well. addition nally, integrated care is a component. like wise, recovery supports like stable housing, employment programs and peer and family support, greater community awareness of behavioral health
awareness are keiery areas of focus. before i introduce this year's cmhs speakers, this sunday, september 10th, the 2017 world suicide prevention day. the world health organization says more than 800,000 people across this globe die by suicide. up to 25 times as many make a suicide attempt. behind these statistics are the individual stories of those who have, for many different reasons, tragically questioned the value of their own lives. each one of these individuals is part of our community. some may be well linked, have networks, family, friends, work colleagues, schoolmates, others may be less connected. some may be isolated. regardless of the circumstances, communities have an important
role to play in supporting those who are vulnerable. this year's theme for world suicide prevention day is take a minute, change a life. take a minute, change a life. it's our responsibility to look out for those struggling. check in with them. encourage them to get the help they need. offering a general word of support and listening in a nonjudgmental way can make all the difference. this is the more important than ever because as we learned, estimates of thought suicide plans for attempts continue to rise particularly for young people. suicide is an important public health problem in the united states and a tragedy for all involved. individuals and their families, friends, neighbors, colleagues and communities. according to -- 100 people each day die from suicide in the u.s.
recovery month, though, reminds us that -- through evidence based treatment and services. there will continue to be hope for a better tomorrow for the millions of americans ha experience health conditions and their families. next, i'm honored to introduce you to emmanuel ford followed my his mother and caregiver. emmanuel is a native of washington, d.c., where he still resides. emmanuel attended d.c. public schools, graduated from the columbia heights education and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, as well as bouts of suicidal. he uses his experience and knowledge to integrated systems to help other youth achieve
success. emmanuel found his passion in providing peer support, assisting others in investing in their mental health. he is now a d.c. department behavioral specialist and leader for young adults in the city. his efforts began by participating with the youth research group to go to identify causes meaningful to young people to bring about change in the district. he also joined the ymca's youth and government program to prok tis policies to impact the nation's capitol. in 2016, he created an implemented a summer program for transitional youth called yield. a true leader. emmanuel is currently pursuing a degree in anthropology to understand how individuals behave. join me in welcoming emmanuel. [ applause ]
>> thank you very much. good morning. >> morning. >> thank you. i am emmanuel ford. first, i would like to thank our community partner gayle from total family coalition for connecting us to samhsa. i never experienced, i never in my life experienced what some would call a normal life. always knew there was something different about me. most people think about a loving household for a child, they think of a home having a mother and father, two people i have never had growing up. at the age of 7, my life took a drastic turn. i had to move to one of the worst neighborhoods in the city.
i was placed in a home i thought would be peaceful and loving. instead, it was the opposite. while at this home, i was abused mentally, physically and emotionally. the saddest part is, i didn't tell a soul. i suffered every day for most of my childhood in solace. i was taunted by peers for any reason, i didn't have a stable home, didn't have food or my biological parents weren't around. i isolated myself. i did not let people into my life because i didn't trust anyone. as i got older, i thought things would change. i thought those memories wouldn't be an issue when i became an adult. little did i know, it will forever be a part of me. as i got holder, i became angry, emotional and unproductive at school. i knew something wasn't right, but i didn't trust people.
i was afraid to tell anyone and i was afraid to be different from young adults my age. i was afraid of becoming unloved. i withdrew from people and i began using drugs. i did not believe people when they said good things about me. i would think negatively about things and dismiss compliments toward me as untrue. i left no room for positivity in my life. i went to eating to cope. after one of the lowest points of my life, i was grateful to know i was not alone. the reason i use the word grateful is because i needed to see someone i could identify with actually see them get help and pursuing recovery, too. for me, that person was my mom who was challenged with mental illness and sub stansz disorder. after she disclosed her
problems, that prompted me to seek help and start my own recovery journey. one of the hardest things i had to do was look in the mirror and acknowledge my life was out of control. perhaps some of you know what this is like. for me, to actually admit that something was wrong was extremely difficult. i watched my mom get up, take her medication and participate in therapy. i started to notice the change, then i wanted to become a part of that. so, i put on my big boy pants and started seeing a therapist. after speaking to a therapist, i learned i was dealing with ptsd from my childhood and facing ang sity and depression. due to the health issues, i hid my diagnosis because i didn't think people would understand. once i realized my peers were suffering too, i knew i had to share my story. i made it my life's mission to
help youth facing the same mistakes and hardships i experienced because i didn't know about my mental health and the importance of minding my mental health. today, i stand before you as a survivor in recovery, taking control of my life for myself and my community. [ applause ] >> thank you very much. and now, i would like to introduce one of the most people in the world, i may be a little biased, and one of the most powerful, fearless and beautiful women i have ever had the encounter of living with, my moth mother esther ford. [ applause ]
>> thank you and good morning, everyone. i don't know if i can live up to all that, but it sound good. um, i'm a proud mother of emmanuel ford and i want to thank samhsa. thank you for my family. miss gayle, who referred us here because she knew of our story and samhsa was to helpful. they have a team and we thank you for everything for this kick off, 2017 recovery month. yes. [ applause ] >> so, i have three beautiful children, as a parent, all i wanted was to provide a safe, stable environment for my children. instead, i abandoned them and sadly, they are all victims of
childhood experience. periodically, i would return home, always making the same promise, this was it, i was going to stay home this time and everything would be okay. without any notice, they would wake up and i would be gone. it wasn't until years later, they shared with me, through all their adversities, they never gave up hope that one day, i would return for good. after years of struggling and in and out of prison, i finally got in front of a judge who recognized my behavior. he ordered me into treatment. didn't care what i said, gotta go. it was there that i received my diagnosis and in addition to that, i found out i was four year generation of mental illness that i had a substance use disorder and explained all my behaviors. i was told with medication and therapy, my grief, loss, guilt and shame, i could finally live
a life of recovery from mental illness and substance abuse disorder. i had a hard time with that. i took that advice and began my journey to recovery. after treatment, i was able to support emmanuel. my children were grown and emmanuel needed a constant figure in his life. he was able to open up and share every time i left, i took a part of him with me. one of my first steps toward supporting him through his recovery was allowing him and his siblings to share with me how my negative behavior impacted their lives. it was the hardest thing i did. even through the tears, i allowed them to share because i know they needed to. listening to him tell how he was affected helped us establish a new relationship. i got mad and wanted to know why
this was happening. i enrolled in college. [ applause ] >> it was there that i learned about trauma informed care and learned techniques and tools of wellness. i was so excited, i would come home and share with emmanuel. he began to apply the tools i shared with him to his life and it helped him with his healing process. today, he continues to use those tools to maintain his overall wellness. we have learned these strengths and limitations and used it to support each other. today, we work together in our nonprofit. we work with others who face the challenges. one of my greatest achievements in life is today i have a wonderful relationship with all of my children. i have the opportunity to see emmanuel through his journey. i have been in recovery for almost 11 years. [ applause ]
>> i have watched him grow into a responsible and positive male figure and advocate for change. i just want -- i continue to support emmanuel as he remains an example of hope and recovery for not only youth, adults and families in our community. thank you. [ applause ] >> thank you, emmanuel and esther. outstanding. your stories are a testament to
the strength of people who experience mental illness and addiction and the power of recovery. we appreciate your courage and candor. next, i have the honor of introducing you to the director for substance abuse treatment, dr. kim johnsson. dr. johnson leads access and high quality substance abuse treatment. her extensive experience as a clinician, state leader on substance abuse treatment, educator and contribution to the health field support samhsa's mission. join me in welcoming dr. kim johnsson. [ applause ] >> thanks paolo. you all get to catch a breath after that story and now i have to talk.
i thank you all, joining secretary price and acting director richard baum and all of our colleagues here confirming our commitment to the american public whom we are privileged to serve. i want to express our gratitude to you, crucial support and evidence based programs and practices that save lives, improve public health and safety and help neighbors, families and communities to overcome the most devastating health our nation faces. i want to actually call out my colleague fran because, you know, the data that we have on alcohol, the reduction of alcohol use, tobacco use, marijuana use in youth is not a magical thing that happened. it's the hard work of our colleagues that they have had in that community. so, thank you. [ applause ]
>> for millions of voices raised across the country, they are one of our greatest health challenges as they tear apart families and damage communities. my remarks will reiterate key points others made this morning. i want to begin by quoting two people. people recover every day. they get well and go on to do incredible things in our communities. the power of possibility of people in recovery is immense. the power of possibility fueled our nation's ingenuity and growth. the power of possibility is fundamental to success, including addressing health issues. time and again, we have come together to conquer challenges posed by health. we have exceeded science based policy and practices that reduce the incidences and that mitigate symptoms. as data from scientific research continues to identify the
biological and environmental things and effective treatment interventions, we already have sufficient data in hand now to help shape our response to the current crises. we know that addiction is caused by a combination of properties of the drug, exposure, dose and duration and genetics and environmental risk. for many people, including veterans, the physical and emotional response can contribute to progression. we know the medications are often necessary component of a successful treatment program. that behavioral interventions, including things like cognitive behavioral therapies, motivational incentives can improve outcomes. we know that medications can reverse overdoses and save lives. we are learning, we don't necessarily know yet, but we are
learning that programs like anchor more and anchor e.d. in rhode island and the safe stations program in maryland are helping us reach out and engage people in care early on before they have to overdose. for over two decades, samhsa's substance program played a vital role in recovery of millions of americans living healthy and productive lives, building communities and contributing to the well being of the country. the programs are community based and focused on comprehensive drug use screening, expanded access to treatment and recovery services for all people with substance abuse disorders and improving the quality of care. the center for mental health, they address conditions
including mental illness and inif he can sh infectious diseases like hiv and hepatitis. communities that fall into the community gaps that persist. in 2016, the legislation coupled with strong federal leadership provided us with the tools to combat the opioid crisis. key programs enabled include the rapid growth in the number of health care providers who treat it through medication, technical assistance and medication. population targeted efforts like the 2017 expansion programs and states and territories that respond to the opioid crisis with a data driven targeted response, using strategies to address the populations with the greatest need. they closely monitor the
services -- performance shows they are improving health, public safety and outcomes. increasing access to -- they are reducing criminal justice involvement. still, we remain acutely aware of how much we have yet to accomplish. with this in mind, this past year. they have a way to benchmark the programs. this had been used with health programs and working with private and public partners to reduce substance abuse across the country. our initial data and analysis in that area, conducted has reinforced and expanded the understanding that the key of our public and private health efforts must be early and comprehensive screening for substance abuse and effective
engagement for those identified with substance abuse disorders. the data is consistent with other findings in the field. to meet the ongoing and evolving challenges our nation faces, in close collaboration with partners and stake holders will continue the treatment, sub porti supporting recovery. now, you have had a moment to catch your breath. it's my privilege to introduce mr. zachary talbott. he overcame a disorder he developed in graduate school. he's paying it forward. he opened two programs. he serves as program sponsor and is program director for the georgia opioid treatment program.
he serves on a committee and board of directors in georgia and board of directors of the southeastern institute on chemical dependency. you are proof positive that people recover and go on to do incredible thinlgs in their community. thank you for your encourage and commitment. thank you for your efforts to support individuals, families and communities as they overcome these health conditions. [ applause ] >> hello. my name is zach talbott. i reside in georgia where i serve as the program director of an opioid treatment program. i was born in knoxville, tennessee and grew up in mayorville, tennessee, a small
southern town. not so small anymore, about 30 minutes south of knoxville, it's an affluent community. i came from an upper middle class church going family. we prioritize z, family, faith and education. i graduated with my bachelor's degree before enrolling in the ut college of social work. during my time as a graduate student in the social work program, ironically enough, i was prescribed opioid main medication for minor knee and back pain. it was as if i never lived before. something changed in me, a dependence turned addiction began to engolf my life. i was dismissed from the ut college of social work, i was a regular, daily i.v. heroin user.
i recall going to graduate school and shoot up to ward off withdrawal symptoms. for a long time, prior to my academic dismissal, i was a high functioning addict. i wasn't one of them. i came from a good family from good southern stock, we would say. talbotts weren't addicts, we were people of faith, community leaders and role models. but, i am here to tell you today, opioid addiction does not discriminate and knows no boundaries by class or race, by gender or sexual orientation, by religion or level of education. not even a half decade into the new millennium, i was living in a hell that began with an illusion. i strove day in and day out just to stay well and avoid withdrawals. any type of high was a thing of
the past. an illusion that lasts only for the first romantic parts of this lethal disease. such is the daily life of someone addicted to opioids, prescription painkillers and/or heroin. there's help. being a graduate student never truly left me. when i was sick and tired of being sick and tired, i began to research what would give me the best chance of success. i went to credible sources, something that was beaten into me during my time in college to see what i should do, if and when i was ready. i kept coming back over and over to this thing called medication assisted treatment. like so many other people, at the time, i was hesitant, thinking i would just be trading the witch for the devil or potentially ending up in a worse addiction. but i was desperate. so, i called the opioid treatment programs only to finds
they had long wait lists and could not get me in. in a moment of desperation, i drove two hours in one direction and enrolled in a treatment program in northwestern georgia. it was the best decision i ever made. i found i was stabilized with a medication that allowed me to live a normal life, it allowed me to break those chains in the cycle. i found i was met with compassionate treatment and konsling was a more important priority than the medication i was receiving. the old zach quickly came back and i, once again, started dreaming and re-evaluating my life's goals. i stopped living to avoid withdrawals. i was breaking the chains that bound me. today, you are looking at the true face of medication assisted treatment, having become medication assisted recovery. [ applause ]
>> i did not trade one addiction for another, as z i feared, but i traded dysfunction for stability and misery for hope. i got my life back. i became involved in patient advocacy and treatment. the zach that was a graduate student in clinical social work was back. i have since re-enrolled to get the degree my addiction robbed me of years before. i opened two opioid treatment programs having written the policy and procedure manual and issue regulatory compliance. i have ic and rc certification. i am successful in living the recovery life. this recovery life and all the work i am now doing was made possible because of medication assisted treatment.
methadone, combined with quality counseling saved my life. since those early days in maintenan maintenance treat maryland, i worked on relapse prevention but i recognize that isn't possible for everyone. just like any other chronic disease, such as diabetes or hypertension, different people need different amounts. some need long-term or indefinite maintenance. that is okay. what matters -- [ applause ] >> what matters is someone's life and their quality of life. not whether or not they happen to take a legal medication or for how long they might need to take it. during this opioid crisis, we have a moral obligation to support options that offer
health and hope. inpatient or outpatient, short term or extending months or years or indefinitely. we have to support all the medications at our disposal to come back. methadone -- all three medications have their place and we should not pit any one against the other. we must support the use for overdose reverse also people like me can stay alive long enough, until we get the help, the evidence-based help that we need. we have to train first responders, teachers, counselors and family and friends for those at risk how to administer and use z it. we have to recognize some people need more than one dose. for some people, it may take more than one overdose before they are ready for treatment. we have to be okay with that. we have to do what is necessary to keep people alive while supporting treatments proven by
research and science if we are going to turn this opioid crisis around. i'm living proof there is hope after opioid addiction. you are looking at the true face of this epidemic, the true face of one of the lucky ones who happen to stumble into a treatment center that prioritized science and research over stigma and fear. because of that, along with my own dedication to the hard work of recovery, i am here to speak with you all today. my recovery means everything to me. for, without my recovery, i likely would not have my life. and, so, i personally want to extend my heartfelt thanks to the leaders here today and president trump for the convening the opioid commission and they work to bring to the public's eye help and hope. it will take us all working together, despite political
affiliation or other backgrounds to turn this epidemic around. thank you. [ applause ] you. [ applause ] thank you so much, zach. we are all fortunate for you sharing your remarkable journey of recovery with us, your advocacy efforts, for your giving back to the communities. also being a social worker. before i open the floor to questions, i want to ask that we thank all of our speakers one
more time. please join me in a round of applause. [ applause ] >> so, we are going to move to questions. we are going to start with the credentialed press. we'll start, if any of our media representatives have a question. if you do have a question, please indicate for which of our panelists you want to pose the question. seeing none from media, i'll open up the floor for others. yes, ma'am. >> first of all just wanted to express my gratitude to everyone who shared and that one of the things that, you know, that we have been concerned about is, we are talking a lot about the opioid crisis, right think so. i'm really appreciative of mr. baum's comments, truly. i have not heard much about
alcohol and what we are seeing is that there is an increase in use, particularly among young people. so, i'm just curious as to what the panel thinks in terms of alcohol's role in this current epidemic. >> kim, do you want to -- >> sure. i will start. so, alcohol is our biggest drug of abuse. if you look at how many people and if you look at deaths related to alcohol, it still is higher than overdose deaths. we know that's a critical issue. we know we have done a good job with adolescence, but we are seeing the young adults starting and they start heavily. so, that is a target that we have to do with prevention. we know young adults, that particular age group, the highest users for everything, we need to do a much better job
targeting prevention and treatment activities for that age group. particularly, the outreach to that age group. a lot of times, they don't think they have a problem. they are in a social environment where their use is the norm and we have to address that. >> yes, joe. >> my name is joe. i'm a young person in long-term recovery. president and ceo of associates of person's affected by addiction. has there been any progress on recovery data? >> would you care to take that one? >> actually, i'm glad you asked that. we just received omb clearance to add recovery questions to the 2018 survey. [ applause ]
>> it's a start and we are looking forward to the data. >> yes, sir. >> my question is for acting director baum. i am in long term recovery. thank you for your recognition of recovery during your remarks. ondcp needs to champion the barriers people have in finding and sustaining recovery, housing education and employment are critical. the question to you, why in the interim report from the opioid commission you are staffing, why did it fail to mention recovery in solving the crisis? we have to fund and not just talk about entire -- which includes recovery support services. thank you. >> thank you so much for your question. let me answer the question directly. this initial report that just
came out a few weeks ago, there's the very first piece of what the commission is working on. they are planning a comprehensive report, as i mentioned, probably out the end of october. i'm confident it will include a very strong language and recommendation related to recovery. let me reiterate on behalf of ondcp, we absolutely are committed to understanding, addressing and removing obstacles to full recovery to the millions of americans trying to get their lives back. we, as i said in my remarks, you know, people in recovery are doing what we want them to do, right? they are going through treatment, they are reclaiming their lives and so when people have taken these really difficult steps and change their lives, we have to make it easier for them, not harder for them. i certainly understand, i have
had a lot of conversations about employment and the challenges people face who may have had years of, active years of using drugs. people are in stable recovery, these obstacles should be removed. we want them back in the workplace and back in the community. we are committed to really understanding these obstacles and ask for help to try to understand the obstacles t laws, regulations, state and federal that we can address. we are with you 100%. >> my name is lorraine mcneil, a person in long-term recovery from new york state. i would like to say this has been powerful today. everyone who spoke has been so, so powerful. i think there's a story, though, in the data, which i appreciated so much. when we look at young people and the numbers of young people that are using marijuana, i thought the ford family was just
excellent because they talked about things related to it. if we string that kogt and look at what we have done around cigarettes, i think we really have to look at prevention and getting the message out. just getting the message out of what it is, how it is connected to long-term outcomes. look at cigarettes. look at what is happening with that. the number of people not smoking, there is a lot we can do with that. if we are going to turn this around, we have to focus. it's wonderful for treatment. i love recovery. i'm in recovery. we have to focus on having people. we have to put ourselves out of business, as we used to say. thank you. [ applause ] >> in the front, please. >> hi, my name is george, i'm from rhode island, also in long-term recovery. you know, my question is this, is that people coming out of
incarceration with substance abuse disorders, you know, the lack of programs for reintegration is a problem in this country. i know we deal with it in rhode island. is there anything we can do, as a community, around the country to come together and try to provide these services that are desperately needed. housing, how to balance a checkbook. i spent 20 years of my life incarcerated. i got lucky. i had a couple people who had support. many people don't have that support. i go back into the prisons today and try to bring hope of recovery to these people. i'm allowed back in the same prison i spent 20 years of my life in, okay? i bring hope to these people and try to show them ways. the problem is, when they leave incarceration, there's nothing there for them. there's nothing. there's nothing but stigma set on them and jobs. this is where we need to come
together. again, the other issue, i'm a manager of a program called anchor e.d. i provide recovery support services in rhode island emergency rooms if they come in for opioid overdose. the great number of people coming in are for alcohol abuse. it's incredible. last week alone, my recovery coaches responded to 111 calls in the emergency rooms in rhode island. they are the smallest state. out of the 111 calls, 69 of them were alcohol responses. you know? so that really needs to get some attention as well. >> can i respond to you? they didn't read my bio, but i'm a commissioner, a returning citizen of affairs. one of the things my partner and i do, first of all, we are aware
there is a disconnection. between the department of health and our organization and the mayor and commissioners that work with re-entry, we are trying to bridge the gap for behavior health and that return. for me, if my judge didn't realize i had that problem and knew what the behavior was. we came up with exoa. we go to the jail and take that. we are trying to create something where we can talk about when they get diagnosed in jail, it's okay and how you need support at home. i worked in a jail and they are diagnosed there. when they leave, the disconnection. we are trying to bring a program into the jail so when they come out, they have a support network to help with the process and support you. the medication kept me out of jail. it's work in process. >> dr. mccance-katz would like
to respond. >> i'm going to stand because i can't see you otherwise. george and i have worked together, i'm from rhode island as well. i was the medical director of the state hospital in rhode island for a couple of years. here is what i saw. not a single admission to the rhode island state hospital for people with severe mental illness occurred except for people that had criminal charges. people that were coming to us from jails, sometimes even from prison for assessment, competency evaluation and treatment. that's just wrong. that's just wrong. and having observed that, one of the things that is going to be a priority for samhsa is to do what you are talking about,
george, to make those connections for people. what i would like to see are programs that divert people away from the justice system and get them the care and recovery services they need. [ applause ] >> we -- we, at samhsa, one of the first things i was gimpb the opportunity to do is make recommendations about our 2019 budget. and, i have recommended increases to our justice and juvenile justice intervention programs, significant increases in funding so we will have more programs through the country that will help us to understand better how to help people and to get and disseminate that information out to states and communities so they can get that information to their people and get programs in place and help people. we will have more resources to help with the community treatment programs, to help people to stay away from the
justice system and we will be providing more services working with cms to collaboratively provide more services to people so that they can get the resources they need. one of it things the assistant secretary for mental health and substance abuse position requires is that we for the first time congress has said the assistant secretary must work with other agencies. so secretary price mentioned ismic. already our federal partners are working with us at samhsa. so labor and education and the va and the dod and housing and urban development, and we will look at our programs and see how we can better serve people. thanks for asking.
george. >> we have time only for one more question. >> jason robinson. i want to thank everybody for your personal stories. that's a great example of recovery working. thank you samhsa. thank you for your leadership. i'm with share, and one of the things you mentioned was evps, and my question is two fold. first self-help support groups are an evidence based practice that are greatly under utilized by our systems of care. when we talk about how to use evps, is there an effort to increase our connection for systems of care through self-help support groups that are community based, that are alternativemizech and second, in l.a. county we had a great
difficulty rolling out evps. because one of the things that happened is they became large profit centers for agencies and became incredibly expensive to rollout and difficult to adhere to fidelity as more people were using them. so how do we address those things? >> yes, so thank you for that question. it's a tall order. evidence-based practices, we have the information that we need. we know what we need to do, and too often they are not used by many types of programs. one of the things that -- that we can do within federal agencies is to provide some over sight and provide guidance to states and communities about evidence-based practices and how they need to be used. one of the other things that we need to do is we need to work
with our insurers so that they understand what are evidence-based practices within behavioral health and pay for those treatments. so we -- [ applause ] you know, if you can't get paid for what you're doing, right, you don't do it. so we're going to be working with cms. and we're going to be working with insurers to make them better aware of the evidence base and what is called parody. our people who have behavioral health issues same types of treatments they would get if it were a medical illness. behavioral health is different from physical illnesses. and so one of our jobs is to make it clear what that evidence base is and that parody requires these services be compensated so
that people can get the care they need. [ applause ] >> thank you all for joining today. i want to say a special thank you to all the staff that helped to organize and put this event together. [ applause ] >> as we close, i want to invite each of you that are here or watching live to visit samh samhsa.gov where you'll find access to all our data resources, education resources, o o outreach materials, and information about treatment as well as treatment hot lines. thank you for joining us. thank you for your passion and energy. happy recovery month.
[ applause ] senate majority leader mitch mcconnell said this week that he intends to bring the cassidy-graham health proposal to the floor next week for a vote. tonight they take an in-depth look. their ideal would change current health insurance funding into block grants for states. we'll also look at other proposals to change the current individual insurance market. our program begins at 8:00 p.m. eastern over on c-span, online at c-span.org or on the free c-span radio app. health care is just one of the
issues congress has to deal with when they return next week. there were several items facing deadlines. the senate on the latest attempt to change the health care law. also both the house and senate are expected to take up legislation reauthorizing funding for chip, a health program. watch on c-span and the senate on c-span 2. c-span's washington journal live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up this friday morning, we'll look at president trump's voter fraud commission and work to improve the integrity of federal elections. joining us will be bob bauer, and then douglas brinkly will share his thoughts about the trump presidency. be sure to watch c-span's
washington journal live at 7:00 eastern. join the discussion. now it's an oversight hearing on the environmental protection agency. the house energy and house subcommittee on oversight and investigations hosted the event recently. the committee heard from allen larson and alfredo gomez, natural resources and environment direct at the government accountability office. this is just short of 90 minutes. all right, good morning, everyone, and welcome to our hearing oversight. the subcommittee convenes.