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Tim in the News

Jackson Cit Pat: Rep. Walberg hosting community forum on combating heroin epidemic

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Washington, May 19, 2016 | comments
Following the House's recent passage of the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Reduction Act of 2016, U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg (R- 7th district) is hosting a community forum to discuss how to combat the problem.

The forum with residents and local leaders begins at 9 a.m. Monday, May 23, in the Jackson High School Library, 544 Wildwood Ave.

The event is free and open to the public.

In December 2015, the Jackson County Sheriff's Office reported the number of drug overdoses nearly tripled in the past five years, going from 45 in 2010 to 131 in 2015, many of which were the result of heroin or opioids.

Walberg is being joined at the forum by Jackson County Prosecutor Jerry Jarzynka, Henry Ford Allegiance Health's Dr. Rami Khoury, Michigan Pharmacy Association representative Amanda Lick, Jackson County Sheriff Steve Rand, recovering heroin addict Christopher Risner and Mike Hirst, counselor for Andy's Angels and the Jackson Citizen Patriot's Citizen of the Year.

The act, H.R. 5046, passed the House with almost unanimous bi-partisan support and is currently in the Senate's Committee on the Judiciary.

The bill amends the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 to authorize the Department of Justice to award grants to government agencies for expanding collaboration between criminal justice and substance abuse programs, prevention, treatment, investigating unlawful opioid distribution and training first responders how to administer opioid overdose reversal drugs.

"We've seen too many lives lost, dreams unfulfilled, and families suffering at the hands of addiction," Walberg said in a press release. "I look forward to hearing from local leaders who are fighting back on the front lines and continuing to work with them to find community-based solutions to combat the heroin and opioid epidemic."

This story originally appeared in the May 19 edition of the Jackson Citizen Patriot.
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