tv Washington Journal CSPAN May 10, 2016 8:08pm-8:53pm EDT
the process was especially difficult for him because he is a convicted felon because he was now devoting his talent. not just by his recovery. we are better off because he could access treatment. our constituents need treatment. states captain face the epidemic alone. the difference federal funding could make when i visited crossroads to a federal grant they established a program which allows them to remain unified with their children. one participant came to the program. the caring staff at crogsroads ensured she was able to bopped
with her baby and facilitate her transition. i'm proud that federal funding plaud a part and it is a great investment in her, our children. during my visit, i heard about the people who struggled to access or find themselves less without any support. urgently. need us we need to combat the epidemic. clearly, it is a matter of life and death. yield back. ms. clark: i thank the gentlewoman from maine and i thank her for sharing the personal story and i know that in my extended olves family, we grieve and remember and will continue to work for change for
kyle and emet who we have logs and we will remember the names that were mentioned in this irst hour, jennifer, morgan, tony, david and michael and i yield the balance of my time to y coleek from new hampshire. the gentlelady yields back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new hampshire, r. guinta is recognized as the designee of the majority leader. mr. guinta: i ask membersville five legislative days. i thank katherine clarke from massachusetts who is doing.
new england is stressed where an opioid epidemic as many other states around the country but her work is important because we share a cross-state border. i now want to yield to the gentleman from illinois, a leader until bringing legislation to the floor, congressman dold. mr. dold: i tchanching my good friend and i thank you for your leadership to combat the heroin epidemic and thank representative kuster and representative clarke for their leadership on this issue. mr. speaker, between 2001 and 2014, there was a three-fold increase in prescription drawing overdoses. during that same period of time. there was a six hifere fold ep
did he democratic. meone dice from a heroin overdoes. we lose an individual. as a co-chairman, i have seen the suffering that heroin has brought into families in our community. t has been proven to be a life saving ant he dote. and in lake county, illinois, over the course of the last, little bit over a year, 74 lives have been saved. this program equips police with the drug and how to add minister this mid occasion. they requested to have the
opportunity because they were coming to these scenes over and over and over again, before the paramedics would be there. they be didn't want to watch these individuals, these people that were addicted just wither away and die, so they were given the training and we have seen the success in one county across our country. my work with the lake county pioids initiative introduced ally's law, a young man from stevenson high school who passed away before his finals in his sophomore year. alex is a normal guy. play sports with lots of
friends, had about grades, pip call all-american red-blooded young man. when he was in college, he started to get sick and he was -- he went into the hospital. his parents and teachers, nobody knew what was going on. he would get better and repeat this process until eventually he passed away. this law will increase access by providing grant money to states that will allow doctors to dispense it over the counter without a person-specific prescription. they say we will be able to save 20,000 additional lives. the law is one step towards achieving this goal.
this is one step. another piece is giving add icts, those who had that second chance at recovery into treatment. we are rolling out another program with the help of police officers that are trying to become that link between the addicts into treatment centers that can help them. they want to bring them, we don't want to put you in handcuffs, bring your drugs in and get you into an area where you can get the treatment you need. . we're also trying to get people to dispose of their prescription drugs, especially opioids. they set up boxes and over the
last year collected 12,000 pounds of scription drugs. this is just in the -- of prescription drugs. we don't to walgreen's and said, please help us. help us get the word out and help us get the prescriptions they don't need, the excess, back, and they said we're happy to. walgreen's will put 500 prescription takeback boxes throughout the country. cvs is working on education programs. we appreciate those outside of congress that are helping in this regard. i'm thrilled we're taking up these incredible bill, these great bills, these steps forward that will help our communities combat the opioid epidemic by leveraging resources in our judicial and public health systems. i encourage my colleagues to take a look at these seriously. i encourage my colleagues to go back to their communities and education their citizens, their
families, their organizations in their districts about this incredible ep democrat ex. there are parents i encounter who say, it's not in my neighborhood, and it is. it's not in my school, and it is. the evidence is far too overwhelming and frankly this is why this week, in a bipartisan effort, republicans and democrats alike coming together to shed light on what we see each and every day, because there's no way in the world we can have another parent walk into a bedroom to find another child that has overdosed without doing all we can to try to prevent that tragedy from happening ever again. so again, i want to thank frank guinta, i want to thank ann kuster and i want to thank all those who have come tonight to help combat this incredible epidemic. yield back. mr. guinta: i thank congressman
dolede for his leadership in making sure his bill comes to the floor for passage, as it's incredibly important to his district and honors alex in alex's challenge. i now want to recognize my friend from new hampshire, the bipartisan chairman, co-chairman of the bipartisan task force to combat heroin who is working diligently with my and this task force to do everything we can to help the citizens of our state and the nation, the gentlelady from new hampshire, congresswoman kuster. ms. kuster: thank you, mr. guinta and thank you for your leadership and to all the parties pab pants in this bipartisan special order to put a face on this epidemic. i rise as co-chair of the bipartisan task force to combat the heroin epidemic to join my colleagues on both sides of the aisle who have spoken to highlight the impact that this
devastating impact has had in our home state of new hampshire and all across the country. just a few months ago, our fask force held a similar special order to focus on the human aspects of this crisis and how it is affecting families and friends and colleagues in communities all across our district. well, the crew -- while the crisis is continuing, the good news is we are making important progress toward a solution here in congress. i'm appreciative of the important work that the senate undertook in passing the comprehensive addiction and recovery act and i want to thank democratic and republican leadership as well of the relevant committees for their hard work in recent weeks in bringing house legislation to the floor this week. but at the same time, i call upon my colleagues to ensure that this important work fulfills its intended purpose by providing the necessary assistance to treatment and recovery efforts that are so critical to responding to this
crisis. recently, in january, i spoke about my dear friend chris' stepdaughter amber who tragically died from an overdose after a se me, treatment bed was unavailable for her after leaving incarceration. this story, of course, illustrates the tragic consequences that limited treatment capacities can have for vulnerable members of our communities. another heartbreaking story from my district involves carl, the son of my constituent and good friend stu messenger. at 24 years old, he had been using heroin on and off for about a year before he approached his parents to talk about his addiction. to put it simply, his parents were stunned. carl was a recent college graduate who earned good grades and had his eyes set on applying to dental school. it was almost inconceivable to
them that such a high achieving young man could fall victim to opioid addiction but as they learned that day and as we all now know too well, there is no one face of addiction. after discussing his addiction at length with his parents and asking for their help and support as he began his journey to recovery, carl's parents were able to secure him in a place in a detox program 50 miles away from home, the only one that would take him as a cash paying client because their insurance wouldn't cover an opioid detox program. six days later he completed the discharge and -- completed the detox and discharged to his parents he continued on his road to recovery. he passed every drug test and remained resolutely committed to avoiding all drugs and alcohol. his family was so pleased to see him getting better with each and every day. but when carl came down with an
upper respiratory infection shortly thereafter a fatal error occurred in treating the infection. unaware of his history of addiction and recent completion of detox, the doctor who saw carl for his infection rescribed a narcotic cough suppressant. triggered by the codeine in the cough syrup his addiction to heroin was instantly reawakened and when he could resist the crave nothing longer, he decided to inject heroin. but the substance he injected was pure feint nil and he died his -- an overdose in family home. there were no labels on the cough syrup to know it would trigger the behavior. since his death, his mother, sue, has spoken out about the need to reform labeling
requirements to make sure no other family has to endure what she had to live through. carl was an educated, kind, driven young man who came from a supportive family and this tragedy could occur to anyone. the tragedy of his story is why i was proud to introduce jessie law. it will seek to ensure that medical professionals have full knowledge of a patient's previous opioid addiction. it seeks to do this by requiring the sec retear of health and human services to develop standards for the prominentties play of a patient's history of opioid addiction in their medical records when they consent to include that information. and by ensuring that the nchings can more easily be shared among providers with consent. while this legislation was only recently introduced and is not included in the current package of bill, i'm hopeful we can work on a bipartisan basis to bring this important bill to the floor
before the end of this session. i'm very pleased with the legislation we're considering this week that will have a measurable impact to move the need until fighting this epidemic. among the 15 bills on the floor this week, half are part of the legislative agenda developed by the bipartisan task force to combat the heroin epidemic that i started with my colleague, congressman guinta. additionally, provisions of several other bills are included in legislation being considered so this week represents truly important work in the house. it's true those who have engaged in the fight against this epidemic continue to press on in our efforts to include critical financial assistance for prevention, treatment and recovery in our final bill. as we reflect tonight on those we have lost to this epidemic and those who are still fighting it, let us continue to focus to ensure our communities have the help that they need to put this crisis behind us.
again, thank you to all of our colleagues who are working to stop this epidemic, and i yield back the balance of my time. thank you very much. mr. guinta: i thank the gentlelady from new hampshire for talking about carl and our good friend chris and stepdaughter amber. thank you very much, i appreciate it. i want to yield three minutes to the gentleman from pennsylvania, my colleague, congressman fitzpatrick. mr. fitzpatrick: thank the gentleman for yielding and for your incredible sustained leader schlipf along with congresswoman kuster and others. the work we do here in the nation's capitol, the bills we consider, the votes we cast, whether we're having an impact on individuals. i truly believe and know that each of us do that if we can pass the bills being discussed here tonight, we can get them through the senate on the president's desk if they could become law, we literally could save lives and see families
being saved. for some that we represent, the opioid drug use may seem a world away. but sadly, the numbers remove any doubt about heroin's impact so close to home and wave heard the stories told over and over this evening. by every metric, the effect of heroin has reached epidemic levels. i heard representative courtney on the floor today speak about the epidemic as a national emergency. and with that, i agree. in pennsylvania, heroin overdoses and opioid abuse will kill more people than homicide or influenza. in some states it's more deadly than automobile accidents. there are several reasoners in rising statistics, mr. speaker, including the increased supply and decreased cost of heroin and the increasing number of americans addicted to opioid painkillers. at a town hall meeting last fall in quakertown, bucks county, pennsylvania, in my district, graduates of the bucks county
drug court shared their inspirational stories of recover recovery. these story, while marked with tragedy are marked with hope that they can save others from the pain of addiction. the message is having an impact. my community of bucks county, pennsylvania, and others are joining in the fight against drug abuse. two weeks ago, residents helped dispose of 2,390 pounds of old prescription drugs. i heard other representatives speak about drug takeback days. we in bucks county have removed tons, literally of drugs from the street, the medicine cabinets and from the waste stream. remove the supply as we work to remove the demand. as a member of the task force i'm can'ting to work with leaders like those speaking here tonight in both political parties toward a common goal of
developing and enacting national policies to stem the rising tide of drug use and drug abuse. through the hard work of this task force, and the tireless efforts of local recovery advocates across our country, this week the house will take an important step toward passing corp. rehencive policies designed to help combat the opioid epidemic facing our nation. i'm proud to be part of this effort and will undoubtly help save others from the pain and loss of this -- pain and loss of addiction. thank you, representative begin ta. mr. gain ta: thank you for your work on the task force and working to combat this significant challenge. i'd also now like to yield three minutes to the gentleman from staten island, new york, congressman donovan. mr. donovan: thank you very much, congressman guinta, and i'd like to thank congresswoman kuster for her leadership in this area.
mr. speaker, this week the house of representatives will act to pass a package of bills addressing the opioid crisis. one of them, the comprehensive opioid abuse reduction act will authorize new grant programs to cities and nonprofits for education, treatment, and enforcement. and not a minute too soon. opioid abuse an epidemic. it's everywhere you look. it's in our neighborhoods, in our social circles, and in our schools. too many parents have buried their sons and daughters, or watched the struggle for years with addiction, treatment, and relapse. it has to stop. an effective response needs to address three areas, education, treatment, and enforcement. today's youth have to be educated about the dangers of addiction and loved ones need to learn to recognize the early signs. the legislation the house will pass this week authorizes new
grants to prevent the next generation of abusing pills and heroin. proven diversion programs like the drug treatment courts i participated in as district attorney of staten island for 12 years should have the resources and the staffing needed to accomplish their mission, to get users off of drugs. he at this time authorizes grants and expand those already in operation. however, we must follow up on our efs this week and ensure the grant application process is not overly complicated. in the past, federal grant processes have discouraged effective treatment organizations. this is a national health emergency and the bureaucracy must not get in the way. mr. speaker, this week marks a
major step forward. and policies have been effective and will continue to working and what's not. and getting the right tools to local experts, we can beat this demon. i yield the balance of my time. >> i thank the gentleman for his work and thank you for your work on the task force. mr. guinta: i would would like to recognize the gentleman from illinois, mr. davis. mr. davis: thank you to my colleagues and previous special order leader, ms. clarke, this is a great turn out for such an important subject and for you three to lead it and mr. guinta,
i want to say thank you on behalf of the families who have been effected by this epidemic n central illinois where i'm pleased to serve. open oids. and i'm happy the house is considering important legislation and i want to read a uote, the profile of the typical heroin user no longer holds true. here were 1,700 drug deaths in 2014, the acte highest. the illinois department of health, deaths were attributed to heroin alone and they occur,
our states, the communities that i serve have seen a rise in heroin-related deaths. in bloomington, illinois, i was there. there have been seven deaths last year attributed in that one county to heroin use. countyd the sheriff, the coroner and talk about what they see firsthand. i saw for the first time in my life what heroin looked like in the sheriff's office just yesterday. andde along with the deputy j. dog k
we scussed the recent rise of heroin overdoses and arrests at the sheriff's office has seen. and during that ride-along, i experienced a stop wrl drugs were found but not heroin. this is the community where my daughter just finished her freshman year in college. many urban communities, it touches my home county. a few years ago, our count health director was arrested for heroin possession. if it can happen to our own our health county director, it can happen to anyone. there are many factors that have made this widespread, to the
actions of cartels south of the border and that is why we are addressing this issue in the house of representatives. i'm proud to join representative guinta and the rest of the colleagues to support this issue. i vote on every single bill we are going to take up this issue and i yield back. mr. guinta: i thank the gentleman for his leadership. has talked eloquently about quents that he has worked closely to help in creating an opportunity to recovery. i would would like to recognize mr. costello for three minutes. >> thank you mr. speaker.
keffen steele one of the four counties that i represent noted earlier this week there are 2,500 overdose deaths in pennsylvania. 60 alone in montgomery county and this is what he said. we are seeing numbers we haven't seen before. we are on pace to have the deadliest year. not all of them are here heroin. i did not plan on coming here to speak about any particular individual who i know and i won't name names and this is a surreal number. my brother texted me to let me know that someone he went to high school with, who played in my back yard growing up had
passed away and i then reached out to my over friend that let me know it was heroin. and in speaking with his friend he shared the names of a few other individuals from my high chool that i was completely un aware of who passed away, kids i haven't seen or heard from but it strikes close to home and a lot of members here tonight who had experience with the epidemic. as a member of the task force, i thank mr. guinta and his leadership. we have the opportunity to take constructive steps to combat the epidemic and we have the
opportunity by bringing the bills to the house floor for consideration. taste a pack acknowledge of bills. i would rather paint with a broad brush a say these steps to t immediate resources to the front line, our first responders, our health care providers is a tremendous step forward in the right direction. i served as a county commissioner and i know the challenges that our law enforcement officials face each and every day. and i was in one of the four counties and had a round table, the zpwrict attorney, the director of the local director of the emergency hospital and
drug treatment hospitals. approach and an a local officials, each play a different role but the theme is somewhat the same. we have insufficient resources and better aine the resources that we are providing. and that's what we are going to, productive steps to get those on the front lines the resources they need and we will better empower our local law enforcement and our lom providers. and i want to talk about prevention. and abuse deterrent medications. they are critical and our live sciences industry are making tremendous strides and is a key component in preventing
addiction. let me conch clued with this. as legislators and lawmakers, we can't end this epidemic. these laws are not going to end an epidemic and we understand that and we are not saying ypassing laws we end the epidemic. we improve collaboration from and for the various stakeholders so that together we can turn the epidemic, we can turn it into a declining direction which is what we need to do and need to turn this around. we haveal tremendous opportunity to take positive steps and i thank representative guinta and i yield back.
mr. guinta: i thank the gentleman for being here this ening and in authoring the law, another member nism we can provide an opportunity. his work is very well regarded on the bipartisan task force and i thank him for his leadership. i recognize for three minutes, my good friend, mr. mean. mr. meehan: let me thank my colleagues who have taken this approach to comprehensive discussion on what we can do with legislation to deal with the issue of not just heroin abuse. and i would suggest that everybody who has come to this floor comes with a personal story. mine is very personal as well.
john the name of the act that imsponsoring is the john thomas decker act. john was an athlete of great talent sm he was one of the record holders as a receivers who went on to cornell as part f a program which he was a lacrosse player. john, like so many alingtleets suffered from a knee injury a he played through the pain and one of the things he used to deal was open oids, open oids were prescribed and were used by him without a prescription but that should not surprise you. but one of the things we look at s that 23% of college athletes
have been prescribed pain medications during the course of self-pribedey and one in four dealing with opoids. the problem being that leads to an addiction. there is a misunderstanding that it's a much safer drug because it has been prescribed but not in a recognition that it can lead in weeks and even days with daily use which can lead towards the addiction. and people think because they have the dwsh been able to get it under control and rill return to a doseage before.
and they will return and ftentimes it will lead to an overdose. thomas decker act is designed to enable at the high southern california level to reach out, udy the impact of opioid act and better arm those who engage with them to monitor the use, so screen for drug use and others things that can lead to addiction and educate not just ose student a athletes about use. ioid their work in this important area.
i urge my colleagues to support the john tom eas becker act and all of us will be committed to stay ahead of this challenging issue for our nation . thank you, mr. speaker, i kneeled back. mr. guinta: and i thank the gentleman for his work in fighting this addiction as well. i want i now want to recognize for three minutes the gentleman from west virginia, mr. jenkins. mr. jenkins: thank you very much. mr. speaker, the united states is in the middle of a drug crisis that's ravaging urban and rural communities alike. we have seen overdose rates skyrocket in the united states in recent years. my home state of west virginia sits astop the list and i have seen firsthand the destruction
that the disease of addiction has brought to our cities and towns. but imagine for a moment actually starting your life in the throes of withdrawal. this is the tragic reality for thousands of newborns nationwide. during pregnancy, a baby is exposed to any drugs the mother takes. as soon as they are born, their bodies begin going through withdrawal from heroin, opioids and other drugs. not even babies are immune from the effects of this drug epidemic. until you see these babies going through withdrawal yourself, you cannot imagine their suffering. their bodies shake with tremors, their cries are heartbreaking, they are sensitive to noise, to light, even to touch. no baby should have to go
through withdrawal in their first hours, in their first days or weeks of their lives. we in the house are working together on this critical issue. we are passing much needed legislation to create a path to recovery and a path to a healthy start in life for every child. i'm honored to have legislation included in the package of bill this is week, the nurturing and supporting healthy babies act will expand our knowledge and coverage and care for newborns with neonatal abstinence syndrome or n.a.s. babies suffering from withdrawal after birth from the exposure during pregnancy. the dramatic increase of n.a.s., the challenges to developing new models of care and breaking down regulatory burdens are things that i know all too well. i hoped start lily's place in my
hometown of huntington, west virginia, which treats n.a.s. wborns in a standalone facility. it's complementary to the traditional setting. it offers care by doctors an nurses as well as social workers for families. hearing the cries of these newborns will forever change you. we owe it to each and every child to make sure they have a chance to start their lives healthy and happy. i wish to thank congressman guinta and congresswoman custer -- kuster for their leadership on the bipartisan task force to combat the heroin epidemic. by working together we can find solutions and build a brighter future. i yield back. mr. guinta: i want to thank the gentleman from west virginia for your leadership -- leadership on the nurturing and supporting
healthy baby -- babies act. i look forward to voting in support of your legislation. i appreciate your compassion on the issue. i now recognize the gentleman from georgia, congressman carter. mr. carter: i thank the gentleman for holding this special order to discuss such an important issue. as a lifelong pharmacist i've experienced firsthand the struggle that american professionals and americans face with prescription drug abuse. many don't realize but medical professionals are not immune to prescription drug abuse. i've had several sleegs in the pharmacy profession that have strugwled prescription drug abuse. in addition i was a co-sponsor of the georgia -- in the georgia general assembly when the georgia prescription drug monitoring provision was created. i believe pdmp's are one of the most important tools in the fight against prescription drug abuse. i experienced several customers
who walked into my store with out of state driver's license. i was hesitant to fill a prescription of someone who has a kentucky driver's license when my store is in south georgia. i believe the best way to address this issue is to work as a team. physicians, nurses, pharmacists and anyone else who is part of an individual's medical team has a role to play. we must work together if we want to win against this powerful epidemic. in addition, community leaders, community service centers and any o'entities involved in community health has a role to play. we must all work together as a community to help people who are struggling with addiction. i encourage all of my colleagues to get involved in this issue, it is one that will destroy your communities and families from the inside out. you won't know you have a problem until it's almost too big to fight. again, i want to thank the gentleman from new hampshire for holding this special order. i hope we can continue to work
together on this issue because the work will never be done. mr. guinta: i thank the gentleman from georgia for your leadership and your expertise in the area of pharmacology, it's an area of understanding we need to achieve based on the opioid crisis. i appreciate your leadership and your ability to work with the congress to make sure we are finding and striving for solutions beyond opioids for prescriptions for pain in the country. i'd now like to recognize the gentleman from california, congressman knight, for three minutes. mr. knight: thank you very much and i want to thank congresswoman kuster and congressman guinta for taking leadership role in this epidemic. this is something that has gone across the country, we have seen huge rises in the neevet and across the midwest, but this is something that is not immune
from any one of our districts. i along with representatives esty and costello are working to establish educate programs for consumer awareness and practitioner training to get at the root of most of these addictions. as a police officer for 18 years with the lapd, i've seen a lot of drug addiction and drug addiction problems in our streets. we saw rock hit our streets many, many years ago and is still infiltrating many of our urban areas in the country and then we moved on to drugs like meth and heroin. heroin was always a taboo drug, but today it is not. we've seen a lot of kids that get addicted because they got a sports injury or some other issue they've gotten a prescription drug and they've moved on from the oxy when they've ron out, and moved onto heroin. so it's not become a taboo drug, it's actually a new drug that