Putting a Face on Addiction
I wanted to write this week to tell you about some of my latest work to combat the substance use crisis in New Hampshire.
Last week, I called a Special Order on the House floor, during which Members of Congress joined me in putting a face on addiction by sharing stories of loved ones who have been affected by heroin use.
The opioid epidemic has grown to historic proportions across America, with more Americans now dying each year from drug overdoses than car crashes. As co-chair of the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic, I called last week’s Special Order to highlight the urgent need to establish lasting solutions to the crisis, but also to combat the stigma that surrounds individuals suffering from substance use – as well as their families. Behind the staggering numbers of drug fatalities are the valued lives of daughters and sons, mothers and fathers whose lives were precious and whose deaths inflicted terrible pain on loved ones.
During the Special Order, I was privileged to be joined by my dear friend Kriss Blevens and to share the tragic story of her step-daughter, Amber, who was recently lost to a heroin overdose. By honoring Amber’s life, and by acknowledging the complexities of opioid use, it is my hope that we can better recognize the urgency behind bringing an end to this epidemic. I want to thank Kriss and her husband, Mark, for allowing me to share Amber’s story, and thank my colleagues from both sides of the aisle for joining me in this important discussion. I am hopeful that by continuing to work together we will be able to bring an end to the opioid epidemic across the country.
You can watch the Special Order here.
Thanks for all that you do make New Hampshire such a wonderful place to live!