Roskam supports bill to stop the illegal flow of synthetic opioids
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Peter Roskam (IL-06) spoke in favor of H.R. 5788 – Securing the International Mail Against Opioids Act:
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“Everybody that we know has a lot of things they are dealing with on a daily basis and there are challenges and issues and little mini crises. Until somebody gets a phone call that says that their child is in the emergency room with an opioid overdose. Then all of a sudden you've got one crisis. That’s been happening in my constituency, and I know that's been happening in districts all across the country.
“The first time this issue was brought to my attention, it was from a friend of mine, the Coroner in DuPage County, Illinois, in my district, Dr. Rich Jorgensen who said, ‘Peter, there are kids who are dying of this crisis.’ He kept being a voice on this and bringing it to attention. He and others in my home county, the HOPE Taskforce, have been joining together. I’ve met with them, they have given me feedback. Similarly, there is another Taskforce, the Substance Abuse Coalition in McHenry County, Illinois doing similar work. And as I’ve met with them they’ve said one of the challenges is that this drug, this fentanyl, comes in through the United States postal system. When you first hear about this you are incredulous about it. That can't be. The more you learn, the more you realize that this is a major problem.
“In fact, in terms of importing this or this crossing our border, my understanding is that this is at the top of the heap. And to understand the nature and the science and the medicine behind fentanyl is to mean that it scares the living day lights out of you. This molecule gets in your body, and the power of it is just overwhelming.
“I want to thank Mr. Bishop, I want to thank Mr. Pascrell for the work that they are doing on a bipartisan basis to bring people together, to work through this, and to come up with solutions. Now, this is not the only thing that's going to be happening here. This is in the context of other pieces of legislation. This is in the context of looking at treatment, of reimbursement, of screening, of education – but this inbound flow is something that this Congress can do something about. And just in a nutshell, by bringing together the United States Postal Service, the Border Patrol and also the United States State Department to work together in a coordinated fashion is something that my district is really pleased about.
“I’m pleased to be here to advocate on its behalf and I urge its passage.”
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- Representative Roskam has sought feedback from medical stakeholders and constituents that include ideas lawmakers may consider to prevent and treat opioid abuse.
- In April, as Chairman of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, Representative Roskam along with Ranking Member Sandy Levin (D-MI) joined Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA) in releasing a white paper outlining solutions to combat the opioid epidemic.
- This floor action follows recent activity at the Ways and Means Committee where several pieces of opioid legislation were passed unanimously, including several bills sponsored by Representative Roskam.