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For any family, there is no greater loss than the loss of a loved one -- especially when that situation could have been avoided.
This is a feeling many families right here in our own communities understand all too well after losing their own mother, sibling, or child to a drug overdose. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), prescription drug overdoses kill nearly 15,000 people annually, reaching epidemic levels over the past decade. What is even more concerning is that the CDC also reports that heroin death rates have climbed 286% between 2002-2013, and evidence shows that users of opioid painkillers are 40 times more likely to be addicted to heroin.
We need to do more to fight against drugs in our communities. That's why I have joined my colleagues to support the bipartisan Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, which strengthens a variety of different treatment and prevention programs to combat heroin and opioid addiction. I also joined in sending a letter calling on the House Appropriations Committee to increase resources for the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program, which has been a critical asset to state and local law enforcement officers as they combat drug trafficking around Richmond and Hampton Roads.
Yours in service,
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