The heroin and opioid epidemic has claimed too many loved ones, shattered too many lives, and broken too many families. It is a public health crisis that requires immediate attention from lawmakers and the medical community. We see the consequences of this crisis in the 11th District and across Illinois. In Illinois, there were 1,835 overdose deaths in 2015, a 16 percent increase in just two years. The good news is that we have started to view addiction less as a moral failure and more as a treatable medical condition. To help those who struggle with addiction and prevent drug abuse in the first place, we need to understand the science of addiction. The drug naloxone can reverse the effects of opioid overdoses. Other drugs are coming to the market which directly block cravings for opiates and greatly reduce the probability of relapse. In order to truly address the opioid crisis, we need to work to prevent addiction before it takes hold, and expand treatment options for individuals who struggle with opioid dependency.
My Work on Opioid Crisis
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) issued the following statement on his support for H.R. 6, the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act:
“I voted for this legislation because it provides a critical expansion of medication-assisted treatment for individuals who struggle with opioid dependency by expanding the types and number of medical providers who have the authority to prescribe buprenorphine to treat opioid dependency. I am also pleased that my bipartisan legislation was included in the final bill.
WASHINGTON, DC – This week, Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) and Congressman Brett Guthrie (R-KY) advanced legislation that would provide access to inpatient treatment services for pregnant and postpartum women as they receive treatment for opioid dependency. The bill passed unanimously by voice vote in the Energy and Commerce Committee.
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) released the following statement on the 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Act:
“I supported this omnibus bill, which represents a clear and final rejection of President Trump’s flawed budget. It includes funding for critical areas, including infrastructure, election protection, scientific research, and treatment for opioid addiction. It also gives our military servicemen and women a well-deserved raise.
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) released the following statement on President Trump’s opioid plan.
“This public health crisis has touched every state, community, and Congressional district. Individuals who suffer from dependency need fewer empty words and more adequate funding for scientific research and treatment options. It is logically impossible to accept all 56 recommendations of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis without an increase in funding.
WASHINGTON, DC - I was disappointed in the President's address tonight. Once again, President Trump has failed to unite the country and offer Congress tangible policy proposals that would actually grow our economy. I am ready and willing to work with my Republican colleagues to rebuild and repair our infrastructure, grow our economy, and combat the opioid epidemic. But I did not hear the President discuss how he would achieve these goals without burdening our children with future debt.
WASHINGTON, DC - Last week, Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) called on President Trump to take further action to combat the opioid epidemic. In a letter signed by 67 Members of Congress, Foster asked that the President declare the epidemic a national emergency and request full funding for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Public Health Emergency Fund.
WASHINGTON, DC - The opioid crisis touches every community in the United States, including my district in Illinois. To stop it, we need multifaceted solutions. The report’s broad and inclusive recommendations provide a good blueprint for action. If President Trump and his administration are serious about ending this crisis, they must invest in treatment programs, medical research, and science funding to help individuals who suffer from opioid dependency.
WASHINGTON, DC - I applaud President Trump’s decision to declare what too many communities in Illinois and across American already know – the opioid crisis is a public health emergency. But if President Trump is serious about helping the individuals and their families who suffer from opioid dependence, he needs to commit the financial resources that communities need to fight it.
Each day, more than 90 Americans die from heroin and opioid overdoses. In my home state of Illinois, there were 1,835 overdose deaths in 2015 — a 16 percent increase in just two years. New synthetic versions of heroin like fentanyl and carfentanil are exacerbating the crisis. Overdose deaths from these drugs increased by over 70 percent from 2014 to 2015. Just last month, President Trump called the opioid crisis a national emergency.
JOLIET – It’s time we stop naming substance users as addicts, Will County Director of Substance Use Initiatives Dr. Kathleen Burke said.
“I want to ask everyone today to stop using the word ‘addict’ because it’s derogatory and it stigmatizes,” Burke said Wednesday. “People have a medical disease. It’s a substance use disorder. ‘Substance users’ is what I try to say.”