Congressional subcommittee members learn of alternatives to opioids as treatment at VA centers
CONCORD — Members of a Congressional subcommittee learned of alternatives to opioids as treatment within Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers Friday and discussed ways to expand and improve methods both within the VA and for civilians affected by the opioid epidemic.
House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations members included U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Co., and U.S. Rep. Ann Kuster, D-N.H. They were joined by U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta, R-N.H., not a member of the subcommittee, who co-founded with Kuster Congress’ Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic.
“New Hampshire can be on the leading edge of trying to solve this problem,” said Kuster, the ranking member of the subcommittee. “Sadly right now we’re No. 1 in trying to cope with the problem. I want to get upstream on the issue of opioid addiction and try to decrease the use.”
Witnesses during the field hearing at the New Hampshire National Guard Headquarters included doctors from the VA medical centers in Manchester and White River Junction, Vt.
Kuster said she invited Dr. Julie Franklin after meeting with her about a year ago in White River Junction and hearing about programs that significantly reduced the use of opioids.
“I worked with my colleagues to bring this hearing here so we could educate the committee on the success of these programs,” Kuster said. “We will be introducing legislation that will take these practices and put them into use in VA hospitals all across the country.” - Read more at: https://www.unionleader.com/Congressional-subcommittee-members-learn-of-alternatives-to-opioids-as-treatment-at-Department-of-Veterans-Affairs-centers#sthash.Pvj13Afg.dpuf