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Combating the Substance Abuse Epidemic

Floor Speech

Date: Feb. 27, 2020
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. PLASKETT. Mr. Speaker, the opioid crisis has had a devastating impact on communities throughout our country. In my conversations with members of law enforcement, public safety officials, and public health experts, it has become clear that serious reforms are necessary to ensure our criminal justice system effectively contributes to efforts to combat the substance abuse epidemic.

The 2018 National Institute on Drug Abuse data shows that every day, 128 people in the United States die from an overdose of opioids. The misuse of and addiction to opioids, including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl is a severe national crisis that affects public health, as well as social and economic welfare.

Next month, I am going to hold a roundtable discussion on this issue in my district to learn best practices and ensure that our stakeholders stem the tide before it becomes a crisis in our community. I am going to use the measures that my Democratic colleagues instituted to bring that to our community to make sure that it does not happen in the Virgin Islands.

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