As @POTUS signs HR 6, the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, to provide tools in the fight against the #OpioidCrisis, we thought we’d share some insights from our 2017 hearing featuring Nobel laureate Sir Angus Deaton, among others.
@POTUS Sir Deaton argued that deaths from legal and illegal drugs are contributing to an almost unprecedented increase in overall mortality among middle-aged white non-Hispanics. A century of mortality decline came to a halt at the end of the 20th century in America.
@POTUS The increase, argued Deaton and Anne Case, is due to a rise in drug, alcohol and suicide related deaths; they stated that the liberal prescription of opioids for pain relief fueled the epidemic.
@POTUS Growth in drug overdoses is driven primarily by deaths associated w/prescription & illegal opioids. In 2015 white non-Hispanics accounted for 82% of opioid overdose deaths. Total drug poisoning deaths have nearly tripled since 99, & in 09 surpassed traffic deaths for 1st time
@POTUS Look at this terrifying chart depicting 2015’s Opioid Overdose Death Rate by State.
@POTUS Professor Sir Angus Deaton was a notable witness for this hearing because of his expertise. You can see his testimony here. Some excerpts:…
“...opioid deaths [are] part of a broader epidemic of rising mortality[,] deaths that we refer to as 'deaths of despair.' They consist of suicides and deaths from alcoholic liver disease as well as accidental overdoses from legal and illegal drugs.”
"The opioid deaths are the largest component, but the other two causes are not far behind.”
"In 2015 for white non-Hispanic men & women aged 50 to 54 w/o a college degree who are much more seriously at risk than those w/a college degree—deaths of despair are ~110 per 100,000. 50 are accidental overdoses, 30 are suicides, & 30 are alcoholic liver disease & cirrhosis.”
The hearing was illuminating for our members who have been working on solutions to the #opioidcrisis.
@RepErikPaulsen, now our Chairman, got in a few questions.
@RepErikPaulsen At 50:10, you can watch @RepErikPaulsen’s questions. “Unfortunately Minnesota has not been able to escape the devastating effects of #opioid addiction.” He went on to tell the story of speaking with a mother who lost her son to addiction.…
@RepErikPaulsen @RepDavid asked how to get into the root causes and push back on the increase in these #opioid-related deaths.
@senrobportman “This is ultimately going to be solved with a comprehensive approach that works with local communities.”

“It’s the only way.”
@senrobportman @RepComstock noted the problems in her district with MS13 gangs involved in #opioid trafficking, especially how they were preying upon young people for recruitment.
@RepLaHood also addressed the importance of working together as a large bipartisan effort similar to that which was so successful against drunk driving in Illinois, especially the importance of holding people accountable.
We have the full video of the hearing as well as the individual testimonies of witnesses here:…

We’re glad that another important step has been taken to deal with the #OpioidCrisis.
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