Washington, D.C. – House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) released the following statement on the President’s decision to declare the opioid crisis a national health emergency:
“The opioid crisis is a slow poison in our country, and every day the casualty list grows in lives lost, in families broken, and in hopes abandoned. The heroin epidemic of the 1970s led to 1.5 overdose deaths per 100,000 people. In the crack cocaine epidemic, it was two per 100,000. The opioid epidemic kills 10.4 per 100,000. Over 30,000 people died from opioid overdoses—both from prescription pain relievers and heroin—in 2015 alone. As a nation, we cannot passively accept such a considerable loss of life.
“President Trump’s declaration of a public health emergency is shows the bold national leadership our country needs to fight this epidemic. Resources must be redirected to respond to this crisis and bureaucracy cannot get in the way. This action builds upon the President’s implementation of Comprehensive Addiction Recovery Act, which Congress passed last year to improve prevention, treatment, recovery, overdose reversal, and our law enforcement efforts. The House continued our fight just yesterday when the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a full committee hearing on further solutions to address this crisis. We have a long road ahead as a nation, but today’s declaration is an important step towards overcoming this suffering.”