February 2, 2016
Contact: Dan Weber
Edwards Applauds President Obama’s $1.1 Billion Funding Proposal to Combat Opioid and Heroin Abuse
Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards (MD-4) issued the following statement regarding today’s announcement that President Obama is including $1.1 billion in new funding in his fiscal year 2017 (FY17) budget to address prescription opioid abuse and heroin use.
“I applaud President Obama’s proposal to include $1.1 billion in new funding to combat prescription opioid abuse and heroin use. With more people now dying from drug overdose than car crashes every year, this crisis is an epidemic that is devastating families and communities in Maryland and across the country.    
“Last summer I hosted a roundtable discussion where stakeholders in law enforcement, higher education institutions, nonprofit organizations, and federal, state, and local government highlighted the importance of a coordinated effort that includes treatment, prevention, and increasing the availability of the overdose reversal drug naloxone.  Thankfully, the proposal announced today provides additional funding in each of these areas.
“Over six years ago, I first introduced the Stop Overdose Stat (S.O.S.) Act that would provide federal support for expanding the awareness and use of naloxone, improving epidemiological surveillance of overdose occurrences, and establishing a coordinated federal plan of action. It would do so in part by establishing a grant program that funds efforts to educate and train the public, first responders, and caregivers of those at risk of overdose on how to administer naloxone.  We know that it works, as Baltimore police officers now carrying naloxone have already saved at least thirteen lives.   I am grateful that a portion of approximately $500 million in funding would be used to increase the availability of naloxone and help save even more lives.”