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Foster Addresses House on Victims of Heroin and Opioid Addiction

Apr 29, 2016
Press Release

Washington, DC – On Friday, Congressman Bill Foster (IL-11) took to the floor of the House to honor the memory of the thousands of Americans who have been lost to heroin and opioid addiction.

Foster has introduced legislation to combat the opioid epidemic and has led support for President’s Obama’s budget request of increased funding for opioid abuse prevention and treatment programs.

You can watch video of Congressman Foster’s speech here.

Text of Foster’s remarks is below:

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the memory of those we have lost to heroin and opioid addiction.

Another 30 people are likely to die today. 

Another 30 lives lost on top of the thousands we are losing each year to this epidemic. 

We have lost daughters, and sons.  Fathers, and mothers.  Sisters. Brothers. Friends, acquaintances and coworkers alike have lost their battles with addiction.

Too often, their deaths have been cloaked in the shadows.

Obituaries remain silent on the cause of death.

For too long, our society has viewed opioid addiction as simply a moral failing, rather than the treatable medical condition that it is.

While opioid addiction may start with an excessive prescription, or an indiscretion of youth, It ends with a scientifically understood, increasingly treatable medical condition, in which the biochemical pathways necessary to normal decision making in the brain have been hijacked, and the chemistry of the brain permanently altered.

Heroin does not discriminate. It does not care if you are rich or poor.  Black or white.  A devoted mother, or a loving child.

None of us are immune to its chemical grips.

So today, I pay my respects.

Those who fall prey to opioids are worthy of being mourned.

They are not forgotten.

Thank you, and I yield back.