Press Release: Foster Hosts Science of Addiction Discussion
Naperville, IL – Today, Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) hosted an event on the science of opioid and heroin addiction. He was joined by a panel of experts in addiction science and treatment.
More than 50 people attended the discussion, which was held at Edward Hospital in Naperville. Several topics were discussed including the effect of opioids on brain function, new medical treatment options, and the best techniques for speaking with loved ones about addiction.
“Recent advances in the science behind drug addiction make it clear that opioid and heroin addiction is a treatable medical condition and not a moral failing,” Congressman Foster said. “Today, we began the conversation in our district about new medically assisted treatments available to individuals and their families who need help. In Congress, I have worked to make sure these treatment options are more readily available to everyone who needs them. We must work together to end this epidemic.”
“This event helped raise awareness in the community about this problem to help those in the audience as well as their kids and families. The more people are aware of the opioid epidemic, the more they can protect themselves and their families from it,” said Dr. David Lott, medical director of addiction programs at Linden Oaks Hospital. “Congressman Foster’s emphasis on the science of addiction helps reduce the stigma of substance use disorders so we can treat people with compassion and understanding. We all need to keep working together to help those struggling with addiction.”
This year, Congressman Foster led a joint letter to the Department of Health and Human Services to make sure that a new implant will remain affordable and accessible to people who struggle with addiction. This implant releases buprenorphine, a drug that reduces cravings for opioids. It also provides a reliable way for individuals to get the medical treatment for dependency without the risk of skipping a dose.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28,000 died from opioid related overdoses in 2014. In Illinois, there were 1,579 drug overdose deaths in 2013, and 1,705 drug overdoses in 2014.