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Knight Rolls Out Plan To Combat Heroin Epidemic

Congressional Task Force Announces Aggressive Legislative Agenda

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Washington, April 21, 2016 | Daniel Outlaw (202-225-1956) | comments
Representative Steve Knight (CA-25) stood with a group of fellow members of Congress Thursday morning as they presented a legislative package aimed at solving the nationwide heroin epidemic.  

The Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic, of which Rep. Knight is a member, unveiled fifteen bills that they believe will address the widespread abuse of heroin with a range of strategies. The Task Force held hearings and round tables in Washington, D.C. and throughout the country for several months in order to gather information about the recent surge in heroin use and related issues, such as prescription opioid addiction and drug trafficking patterns.  Knight and his colleagues feel that the time has come now to turn their ideas into action.

“We have an opportunity to turn the tide in the fight against the horrible consequences of heroin abuse,” said Rep. Knight. “The plan we unveiled today is a strong step toward creating real change on this issue.”

Earlier this year, Rep. Knight became the lead cosponsor of H.R.4697, the Prevent Drug Addiction Act of 2016, along with four other bills included in the package that the Task Force announced today. This bill would direct federal resources toward proven opioid addiction prevention strategies such as a consumer education campaign, training for medical practitioners on best practices when prescribing opioids, and a new management program specifically for Medicare beneficiaries who are at risk of prescription-drug addiction.  Knight is confident that this and similar legislative efforts have a strong chance of passing the house. 

“In my 18 years as a police officer, I saw firsthand the damage that opiates and other drugs can inflict on families and communities,” continued Rep. Knight. “I am proud to add my voice to the conversation and to work with my colleagues in the House in this endeavor.”

The fifteen bills announced today would approach the heroin epidemic from a variety of angles, such as increasing access to anti-overdose medications, encouraging proper disposal of unused prescriptions, and strengthening law enforcement at high-intensity drug trafficking areas. Each bill awaits committee assignment. 
 
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