News from Representative Suzanne Bonamici

 

Dear Friend,

Recently I had more than a dozen community conversations about the opioid epidemic and the incredible toll it is taking on our families and communities. The statistics about this crisis are alarming: according to the Oregon Health Authority, three Oregonians die each week from prescription opioid overdose.

Stunning as they are, the statistics alone don't tell the full story. As a mom and a policy maker, it's the heartbreaking stories about the lives changed - and the lives lost - that stay with me.

We must approach this crisis in a way that honors those lives and recognizes that addiction is a disease, not a moral failing.

After the meetings, I released a report titled Fighting for Our Communities: Overcoming the Opioid Crisis. I hope you'll take a look, and share your feedback with me. The report details the issues and problems that came up repeatedly in my conversations with Oregonians, and it outlines the solutions that I'll be fighting for in Congress.

One common theme I heard over and over again was about the difficulty of disposing unused prescription drugs. For instance, the staff at Providence St. Vincent pharmacy told me that, when their disposal site first opened, people came in with suitcases full of unused medicine. The need for more accessible disposal sites is why I wrote The Safe Disposal of Opioids Act. The bill will help pharmacies install and maintain drug disposal bins. These new disposal boxes – about 10,000 of them nationwide - will be funded by a small fee paid by the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture opioids. We must hold pharmaceutical companies that manufacture opioids accountable for their role in creating this crisis.

I invite you to read my report and share your thoughts with me. Community feedback was essential in developing these priorities and I want to keep the conversation going.

We must do everything we can to prevent addiction, help people access treatment, and reduce the oversupply of prescription drugs that led to this crisis. In Congress, I'm committed to holding opioid manufacturers accountable, increasing drug disposal options, and securing more resources to help Oregonians cope with the deadly opioid epidemic.

Sincerely,

Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici

 

If you, or someone you know, is struggling with substance abuse, please call the Alcohol and Drug Help Line at 1-800-923-4357.

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