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Blaine’s Bulletin: National Substance Abuse Prevention Month

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Washington, October 26, 2018 | comments

I am proud to work alongside my colleagues and the Trump Administration in our effort to fight the opioid crisis, but as I sat down to write this week’s column I reflected on just how hard our country has fought. Each day, one hundred Americans lose their lives to opioid addiction, ripping them from their loved ones. With one in three Missouri families affected by the opioid crisis, this is the fourth time this year that I have shared important news with you regarding the crisis sweeping our nation.

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump signed into law H.R. 6, the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act. This law is the latest in a string of comprehensive solutions constituting the most significant congressional effort against a single drug crisis in history.

The SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act fights back by providing for expanded access to treatment and recovery services. It also establishes comprehensive opioid recovery centers. The law gives our local law enforcement officials tools to protect us by intercepting opioids and getting them out of our communities. Additionally, it provides grants for local communities to combat the ever-growing dangers of synthetic drugs, such as fentanyl. Finally, this law enhances prescription drug monitoring programs to end high prescribing rates.

Through hard work and cooperation, Congress and the Trump Administration have advanced many solutions to help combat the opioid crisis, but our work is not done. This month marks the seventh annual National Substance Abuse Prevention Month. According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.2 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs.

During the month of October, please do your part to talk to friends, family and loved ones about ways to prevent substance abuse. Studies show that the majority of those 6.2 million Americans obtained drugs from family and friends, or even their home medicine cabinet.

This Saturday, October 27th the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will hold National Drug Takeback Day, providing an opportunity for you to safely dispose of unused prescription drugs before they become a danger for friends or family. Last year, nearly one million pounds of prescription drugs were collected from more than 5,321 collection sites.

I urge you to check your medicine cabinet for unused opioids such as Vicodin, Oxycontin, Percocet, Opana, tramadol, Kadian or Avinza, just to name a few. If you don’t need it, please safely dispose of your left-over drugs for the safety of your friends and loved ones.

Thankfully, we are on the path to combatting the opioid crisis. With each law we pass, we are one step closer to ending it altogether, but Congress cannot do it alone. I urge everyone in our district to be vigilant. Talk to your family about the dangers of opioid abuse and keep your loved ones safe.

For more information on collection sites near you visit takebackday.dea.gov.

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