Barletta Supports President’s Efforts to Combat Opioid Epidemic
HAZLETON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today released the following statement regarding President Trump’s declaration of the opioid crisis as a national emergency:
“I commend President Trump for officially declaring our nation’s opioid crisis a national emergency. The opioid epidemic is one of the most tragic problems we face as a nation, as substance abuse is an affliction that affects millions of Americans. Pennsylvania has been hit especially hard by this tragedy, as I consistently hear about opioid and heroin abuse when I am back home. This epidemic has impacted every American community. I look forward to working with the Trump Administration and my colleagues on both sides of aisle to prevent heartbreaking instances of addiction and loss.”
Last year, as a member of the joint House and Senate conference committee tasked with drafting comprehensive legislation addressing the opioid epidemic, Barletta helped to negotiate the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA). CARA, which passed the House by a strong bipartisan vote of 407 to 5, authorized funding for grants available to local communities and healthcare providers to help prevent opioid overdose deaths and provide treatment for opioid addiction. CARA was signed into law on July 22, 2016, and included Barletta’s legislation that specifically protects newborns with opioid exposure and their caregivers. The Infant Plan of Safe Care Improvement Act requires that states receiving federal funds for child protective services comply with federal law, enact certain guidelines for the welfare of children exposed to opioids, and provide protections for their caregivers.
Additionally, Barletta has held three forums to address the opioid crisis in his district. At these forums, experts from government agencies, local officials, healthcare professionals, and members of PA-11 discuss the growing opioid epidemic facing Pennsylvania communities and the efforts underway to combat the problem.