Contact: Aaron White
Eau Claire – Today, U.S. Rep. Ron Kind held a roundtable discussion with Eau Claire-area law enforcement, health professionals, and community leaders about the impact of the growing drug and opioid epidemic in Wisconsin. They also discussed Rep. Kind’s recently released Drug Epidemic Action Plan, and the ways that various public and private stakeholders can work together to help heal our communities.
“Our drug epidemic is an all-hands-on-deck moment in Wisconsin. If we’re going to get serious about breaking this cycle of addiction, we need to come together at the federal, state and local levels and work together,” said Rep. Ron Kind. “The professionals I met with today are working tirelessly to help Wisconsin heal. I am thankful that I had the opportunity to listen and learn more about the epidemic, and will continue the fight to protect and heal Wisconsin communities.”
Over 64,000 people in the United States died from drug related overdoses in 2016 – 42,000 from opioids alone. In Wisconsin, emergency room visits for opioid overdoses more than doubled over the course of a year.
Rep. Kind’s Drug Epidemic Action Plan was created in collaboration with Wisconsin law enforcement officials, community health centers, medical professionals, drug treatment officials, and families of those suffering from addiction, and consists of five key components:
- Provide Support to Law Enforcement and Communities and Intercept Drugs at the Border
- Expand Access to Treatment
- Encourage Alternative Pain Treatments
- Improve Prescribing Practices
- Increase Access to Mental Health Care through Medicaid Expansion
Read the full plan here.