Combating the Heroin Epidemic

There has been an increasing presence of heroin and opioid abuse in Michigan which has sadly led to numerous overdoses and deaths. As a member of The Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic, I’ve been working with my colleagues to foster awareness, develop best practices, and promote collaboration to address problems associated with heroin addiction. In April 2016, I introduced H.R. 5142, Jessie’s Law, a bill to ensure doctors have access to the information they need so they can safely treat their patients and prevent unknowingly prescribing powerful opioid medications to those struggling with addiction.  In June 2015, I spoke on the House floor in support of funding for funding for local and state law enforcement to tackle issues like heroin and other abused substances. I also questioned the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy in December 2015 about the agency’s efforts to address this growing crisis. In December 2015, I cosponsored H.R.4183, which would toughen trafficking penalties for fentanyl, a dangerous synthetic drug that has become increasingly prevalent in drug overdose deaths. Additionally, the fiscal year 2016 budget allocated $372 million in order to combat the growing prescription drug abuse epidemic.  

While local and state partners are on the front lines for addressing this epidemic, the federal government must also do its part. To that end, I am a cosponsor of H.R.2805, which would create a federal task force to develop strategies to fight heroin and opioid abuse. Furthermore, in July 2015, the House passed H.R.1725, which provides states grant funding to fight growing prescription drug abuse, and in November 2015, Congress approved S. 799, which addresses the rise of prenatal opioid abuse and infants suffering from opioid withdrawal.  S. 799 has since been signed into law, P.L. 114-91.

A multipronged response to the heroin epidemic, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), was signed into law in July 2016. CARA passed the House by a 407-5 vote, the Senate by 92-2 vote, and was supported by more than 200 leading advocacy groups, including many in Michigan’s 7th District.

03/21/2017 - Fentanyl: The Next Wave of the Opioid Crisis
03/07/2017 - WLNS: On opioid addiction epidemic: “This is a very complex problem” 
02/28/2017 - WILX: Walberg Invites Jackson Drug Counselor to President's Joint Address
10/11/2016 - WTOL: Lenawee students hear about heroin epidemic
09/19/2016 - WTOL: Forum at Bedford High School addresses heroin and opioid epidemic
09/19/2016 - 13abc: Walberg hosts heroin epidemic forum at Bedford High School
05/23/2016 - JTV: Forum on Combating the Heroin Epidemic 
05/23/2016 - WLNS: Heroin addiction stories shared at Jackson High School
05/23/2016 - WLNS: Heroin epidemic in focus in Jackson County
05/18/2016 - WOOD TV: New federal effort to address opioid drug abuse 
05/17/2016 - WLNS: Heroin overdoses continue at high rate
05/13/2016 - WLNS: Walberg "Very Vocal" in the Fight Against Heroin Epidemic
05/12/2016 - Walberg: All Hands on Deck to Combat Heroin
05/11/2016 - Walberg Votes to Combat Opioid Epidemic, Protect Most Vulnerable
04/30/2016 - WLNS: National drug take back day aims to curb addiction
04/30/2016 - WLNS: Walberg Introduces ‘Jessie’s Law’ to Combat Opioid Epidemic
04/28/2016 - VIDEO: Walberg Encourages Participation in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day
03/22/2016 - Walberg Questions the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy
01/07/2016 - Walberg: Behind Tragic Heroin Statistics are Real People
01/07/2016 - WILX: Fighting Heroin and Drug Addiction a Top Priority for Walberg
12/02/2015 - Walberg Works to Combat Heroin and Prescription Drug Epidemic
06/03/2015 - Walberg: We need a robust strategy to combat heroin abuse

03/18/2017 - Ann Arbor News: 'Jessie's Law' named after Ann Arbor woman who died of opioid overdose
03/15/2017 - Walberg, Dingell Introduce “Jessie’s Law” to Bolster Fight Against Opioid Epidemic and Assist Recovering Addicts
03/06/2017 - Jackson Cit Pat: U.S. Rep. visits jail, recovery center for first-hand look at addiction
02/27/2017 - Jackson Cit Pat: Jackson drug-prevention advocate invited to Donald Trump's address
02/27/2017 - Walberg Invites Substance Abuse Prevention Advocate from Jackson to President Trump’s Joint Address
02/08/2017 - Walberg meets with Srsly Chelsea and Srsly Dexter to discuss substance abuse issues
01/16/2017 - Walberg tours the Salvation Army Harbor Light Treatment Center in Monroe
11/30/2016 - Walberg Votes to Provide Greater Resources to Combat Heroin Epidemic
10/20/2016 - Walberg attends Jackson County Task Force on Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse
10/19/2016 - Walberg Encourages Participation in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day
10/10/2016 - Walberg speaks with Lenawee County students during Steered Straight program
09/20/2016 - Monroe News editorial: Our View: Education essential in heroin epidemic
09/20/2016 - Monroe News: Walberg hosts panel speaking about heroin epidemic
09/19/2016 - Walberg hosts student forum at Bedford High School on combating heroin epidemic
09/15/2016 - Walberg meets with the Michigan State Police in Monroe to discuss combating drug trafficking
08/09/2016 - Walberg tours Home of New Vision to talk about recovery programs
07/27/2016 - Congressman Applauds Heroin Epidemic Act Signed into Law
07/25/2016 - Comprehensive Response to Heroin Epidemic Now Law of the Land
07/09/2016 - Hillsdale Daily News: Federal government increases funding to combat heroin epidemic
07/08/2016 - Walberg Applauds Passage of Comprehensive Opioid Response
07/07/2016 - Walberg, Dingell Amendment to Boost Resources to Combat Heroin Epidemic Passes House
06/27/2016 - JTV Presents Special “Bart Hawley Show” Episode on Heroin Epidemic
06/12/2016 - Jackson Cit Pat: Heroin addiction requires comprehensive action
05/20/2016 - Coldwater Daily Reporter: U.S. House passes heroin, opiods legislation
05/19/2016 - Jackson Cit Pat: Rep. Walberg hosting community forum on combating heroin epidemic
05/13/2016 - 18 Bills: House Takes Comprehensive Action to Combat Heroin and Opioid Epidemic
05/12/2016 - Walberg: All Hands on Deck to Combat Heroin and Opioid Epidemic
05/11/2016 - House Passes Walberg-Backed Bills to Combat Opioid Epidemic, Protect Most Vulnerable
04/29/2016 - Drug Take Back Day to be held Saturday
04/29/2016 - Pill drop-off day set for Saturday at Adrian hospital
04/29/2016 - Walberg Introduces Bipartisan ‘Jessie’s Law’ to Combat Opioid Epidemic
04/26/2016 - Walberg Encourages Participation in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day
04/25/2016 - Multiple Heroin overdoses over the weekend show how addicting drug is
04/08/2016 - Daily Telegram op-ed: Coming together to combat the heroin epidemic
03/25/2016 - Lenawee County addresses heroin problem at addiction summit
03/24/2016 - Walberg speaks at the Lenawee Addiction Summit at Siena Heights University
03/24/2016 - April Demers: Making a Difference in Monroe County
03/23/2016 - Walberg Helps Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Improve Efforts Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect
03/07/2016 - Walberg meets with Mike Hirst from Andy's Angels in Jackson County
03/03/2016 - Walberg Cosponsors Bipartisan Bill To Help Prevent Prescription Drug Abuse
02/03/2016 - Walberg meets with members of SRSLY Chelsea and the Eaton County Substance Advisory Group
01/15/2016 - Concord Monitor: Awareness, empathy key in addiction fight
12/26/2015 - Heroin use a growing concern in Hillsdale County
12/14/2015 - Walberg Continues Commitment to Combat Heroin and Prescription Opioid Epidemic
07/21/2015 - Walberg meets with community leaders from the Monroe County Substance Abuse Coalition
12/05/2014 - Walberg presents a Drug-Free Communities grant award to the Monroe County Substance Abuse Coalition