Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster

Representing the 2nd District of New Hampshire
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Congresswoman Kuster to Welcome Susan Messinger, mother of Overdose Victim, to Attend President Trump’s Joint Session of Congress Address and Participate in CARA Family Day Events

Friday, February 24, 2017 - 4:15pm

(Washington, DC) – Today, Congresswoman Kuster announced that Susan Messinger, the mother of overdose victim Carl Messinger, will attend President Trump’s Joint Session of Congress next week as the Congresswoman’s guest.  Susan, a resident of Holderness and a powerful advocate for those struggling with substance use disorder in the Granite State, will also take part in CARA Family days, a series of events hosted by the Addiction Policy Forum on February 28th and March 1st. These events aim to raise awareness about the critical need for addiction resources, as well as the need to help end the stigma surrounding substance use disorder. Susan will be speaking to a group of Congressional staff and families of victims and survivors on the morning of March 1st.

In fall 2014, Carl Messinger had successfully completed a rehab regime for heroin use and was on the path to full recovery.  To treat an upper respiratory infection, Carl was prescribed a cough syrup that unbeknownst to him contained codeine, an opioid.  Tragically, the opioid in the cough syrup triggered Carl’s addiction and shortly thereafter he passed away from an overdose of pure fentanyl.  In his honor, Rep. Kuster introduced Carl’s Law during the 114th Congress, to direct the Food and Drug Administration to require a label on the packaging of any medication that could lead to ‘drug seeking behavior.’ Last year the FDA took a first step toward implementing this policy by requiring a warning about the presence of opioids on the instructions for the medication. Congresswoman Kuster will be reintroducing this important legislation in the coming weeks.

 “I am excited and honored for the opportunity to attend the President’s address to Congress and to participate in CARA family days,” said Susan Messinger. “I welcome the chance to tell Carl’s story and share how his passing led me to advocacy on behalf of all those suffering from substance use disorder.  I am hopeful that our story can help educate other families about how they can add their voice to the efforts to treat and stop substance use disorder.”  

“Susan is truly an inspiring person and I am proud that she will be attending the President’s address as my guest,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “Her courage to tell her family’s story and advocacy on this critical issue will continue to raise awareness and save lives as part of our battle against heroin and opioid addiction.  I will continue to fight to pass Carl’s Law during this Congress and welcome Susan’s continued and valuable input.

As founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force, which currently includes over 85 Members of Congress, Congresswoman Kuster is a leader in fighting the heroin and opioid epidemic in the House of Representatives.  Last year, the House passed 18 bipartisan bills in a single week that later became law as the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA).  The Congresswoman also led the fight to pass the 21st Century Cures Act, which included $1 billion to treat and prevent substance use disorder across the country.  In addition to Carl’s Law, she has introduced legislation to improve opioid prescribing practices and separate legislation to promote alternative treatments to opioids and at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

President Trump’s address will take place Tuesday night, February 28th.  As part of CARA Family Days, Susan Messinger will be speaking to a group of Congressional staff and families of victims and survivors on the morning of Wednesday, March 1st.