La Crosse – Legislation authored by U.S. Rep. Ron Kind of the Thurd Congressional District of Wisconsin combatting the growing opioid and drug crisis was recently passed through the House Committee on Ways and Means.
“Combatting the growing drug crisis is an all-hands-on-deck moment that will require all of us to come together to help our communities heal,” said Rep. Ron Kind. “I am pleased that my colleagues on the Ways and Means committee passed this bipartisan legislation, and look forward to fighting for its complete passage through the House soon.”
The package was included as part of Rep. Kind’s comprehensive Drug Epidemic Action Plan, which was collaboratively created after a series of listening sessions with Wisconsin law enforcement officials, community health centers, medical professionals, drug treatment officials, and families of those suffering from addiction.
Over 64,000 people in the United States died from drug related overdoses in 2016 – 42,000 from opioids alone. In Wisconsin, emergency room visits for opioid overdoses more than doubled over the course of a year.
“As a former prosecutor, I know that the opioid epidemic cannot be solved through the criminal justice system; Rather, it will require a public health response to break the cycle of addiction,” Rep. Kind concluded.
Additional legislation addressing the drug epidemic is expected to come to the House floor for a full vote in the coming months.