New Year, New Opportunity for Congress to Prevent Overdose Deaths

The start of a new year ushers in many changes and opportunities. Among these changes are a new Administration, a new session of Congress, and many new lawmakers descending on Capitol Hill. Unfortunately, the new Administration and new Congress must still deal with some of the problems and issues of previous years, Administrations, and Congresses.

One of these previous challenges that we have yet to tackle is the ongoing opioid epidemic that is ravaging the nation. Last year, more than 81,000 Americans died of a drug overdose. This number shattered previous records and was by far the largest number recorded in American history. These aren’t the types of records that we’re excited to break.

We need to get this crisis under control… and fast. One way to do this is to prevent opioid addiction where we can by ridding our communities of unused, unnecessary opioid pills, which can be a dangerous pathway to abusing other illicit forms of opioids.

Last year, this issue got the attention of Congress and led to the introduction of the Non-Opioids Prevent Addiction in the Nation (“NOPAIN”) Act. This landmark legislation would rid our communities of billions of opioid pills that all-too-often go unused after a surgical procedure by incentivizing the utilization of other, non-addictive pain management strategies. This legislation could help prevent the three million Americans who, every year, go onto persistent opioid use following a surgical procedure.

Unfortunately, a new Congress means that we need to start over, but we shouldn’t be discouraged as there are pieces and leaders in place ready to push this bill. The legislation will soon be reintroduced in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, but we need to quickly shore up the congressional support that the legislation enjoyed last year.

To do so, we need your help! Join us in urging Members of Congress to support this needed piece of federal legislation. For more information, or to contact your Members of Congress, visit our website at www.nonopioidchoices.org/action-center/.

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