Flies on Air Force One as Congressional leader on opioid crisis
Atlanta (March 30, 2016) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) today addressed the National Rx Drug and Heroin Summit on a comprehensive strategy to address the prescription drug and heroin epidemic plaguing Massachusetts. Convened annual by U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers (D-Ky.), Senator Markey was invited by and flew down on Air Force Once with President Obama. The two discussed the impacts of the crisis and Senator Markey’s legislative efforts, including legislation that would mandate all prescribers receive education on safe prescribing for opioids, expanding medication-assisted therapies for opioid addiction and providing $1.1 billion to states for substance abuse services. Senator Markey spoke today on a Congressional panel alongside Rep. Bill Keating (D-Bourne) and other members of Congress. In his remarks, Senator Markey outlined a three-pronged approach to addressing the opioid crisis, including stopping the over-prescription of opioid pain medication, preventing overdoses and addiction before they take hold, and expanding treatment and recovery services that work.
“I thank Rep. Rogers for his leadership convening this summit and for bringing together the President, Congressional leaders, the medical community, law enforcement and patients in recovery to share solutions to a crisis that all communities are battling. I also thank President Obama for inviting me to join him and for bringing long-needed national attention to the scope and severity of a public health emergency that is taking the lives of our loved ones by the hundreds every day. We know what an epidemic looks like in Massachusetts: drug overdoses now claim more lives than motor vehicle accidents or gun violence. This epidemic of prescription drug and heroin overdoses knows no geographic boundaries and our response should know no political boundaries. I will continue to fight for the resources Massachusetts needs to stem this tide of addiction and overdoses, including funding for life-saving prevention and treatment programs. And I am calling on all of my Congressional colleagues in both parties to join this effort to respond to this unprecedented public health crisis.”
More about Senator Markey’s leadership in Congress on the opioid crisis can be found HERE.