Press Releases

Roe Applauds President’s Opioid Crisis Action; Encourages Participation in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

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Washington, October 26, 2017 | Lani Short (202-225-6356) | comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN) responded to President Trump declaring the opioid crisis a National Public Health Emergency. He also announced that constituents who wish to dispose of unwanted, expired or unused medications will have the option to participate in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, an event coordinated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and local law enforcement, on Saturday, October 28, 2017.

Roe released the following statement:

“The opioid crisis has ravaged Tennessee, with more people dying from opioid overdoses than car wrecks. I think President Trump made a great decision in declaring the opioid crisis a National Public Health Emergency. This critical action allows our public health community to commit additional resources to fighting this problem. This crisis will require an all-hands-on-deck approach, and today’s announcement is a big step forward.

“A National Public Health Emergency demands that we think about problems in new ways, which is why earlier this month I introduced the Opioid Addiction and Prevention Act, which would limit initial opioid prescribing following post-acute care to a maximum of ten days in order to help ensure responsible management of pain during recovery. The reality is too many people become addicted to these drugs because their initial prescriptions keep them on these drugs longer than necessary. Furthermore, excess unused prescriptions too often end up as a supply source for addicts, including family members. This legislation will help curb the opioid epidemic and will not have any impact on patients who are prescribed opioids for chronic pain, cancer care or end-of-life treatments.

“In dealing with this crisis, we also must take steps to prevent opioid abuse. Too often unused prescription drugs become a supply source for addicted individuals and families. I encourage East Tennesseans to take advantage this Saturday of National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day to safely dispose of unneeded and expired medications. When Congress passed bipartisan legislation last year to provide additional resources to combat this crisis, I worked with Rep. Raul Ruiz to add a provision that encourages the disposal of unused prescriptions, and believe opportunities like Take-Back Day are a small but meaningful way to help address this serious public health issue.”

Note: Constituents interested in participating in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day should visit https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/ for more information on drop off locations near you. You can read more about Congressman Roe’s efforts to curb opioid abuse at roe.house.gov. 
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