By now, we are hopeful all FED UP! Coalition followers have made arrangements to attend the fourth FED UP! Rally on the grounds of the Washington monument on September 18. Rally details and logistical information are available on the website. As a follow-up to this year’s Rally, we have organized a Hill Day educational briefing on Capitol Hill on Monday, September 19. We will gather in Rayburn House Office Building (HOB Rm B-339) from 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM to discuss needed next steps in policy and legislation to stem the tide of the nation’s opioid addiction and mortality epidemic. Light morning refreshments will be provided.
As many of our followers are aware, much of our immediate advocacy focus will be on obtaining adequate funding to address the epidemic before us. Last year, we called upon the executive branch to step up and address this national public health crisis. The Administration responded by implementing a number of program activities, policy changes, legislative proposals and a budget request of over $1.1B for prevention and treatment. When 2015 opioid-related mortality statistics are compiled by the federal government, they will be more gruesome than any prior year. We consider the executive branch funding to be the minimum required to reverse the continually expanding deaths occurring across the country.
It is now time for the Congress to respond with a serious effort to fund prevention, treatment and recovery programs. Sadly, current proposals from the Congress to fund the opioid addiction and mortality crisis or the recently passed Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act are woefully inadequate. Our educational program on September 19 will address deficiencies in the CARA act as well as the lack of serious funding needed that must be addressed in the weeks ahead. Please come to our educational briefing and schedule a meeting with your member of Congress now to ensure our voices are heard and that Congress provides adequate, mandatory funding this year!