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VIDEO: Foster Calls For End To Cuts In Efforts To Fight Heroin Abuse

Feb 6, 2014
Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Bill Foster (IL-11) spoke on the House floor about the epidemic of heroin abuse that is spreading throughout communities in Illinois.

Video of the speech is available here.

Full text of the speech is below:

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to discuss the grave epidemic of heroin abuse.

The media has shone a bright light on the issue this week, but for too many in my district, heroin abuse is all too common. 

The number of heroin deaths we have seen in counties I represent has been staggering:

  • In Kane County, Illinois, there were 20 heroin-related deaths in 2013
  • There were 35 in Will County
  • And DuPage County reported 46 heroin-related deaths -- including one period last summer when 15 heroin overdose deaths were reported in just 17 days.

Heroin abuse affects people of every race, income, and education level.   These are mothers and fathers, friends and neighbors.  

Community leaders are working to fight back, yet at the federal level we not only have failed to increase our efforts to combat drug abuse, we have reduced resources. Funding for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration was cut by over $210 million in 2013.  The DEA’s budget was cut by nearly $120 million.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today because we cannot ignore this epidemic which is ravaging our country.