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Bipartisan Lawmakers Work Together to Fight Opioid Epidemic

During a congressional hearing Wednesday, a bipartisan group of more than 50 lawmakers testified before the Energy and Commerce Committee. They shared the impact the opioid epidemic is having on their respective states.

Posted: Oct 14, 2017 6:08 AM
Updated: Oct 19, 2017 1:42 PM

WASHINGTON, D.C.-- Dozens of lawmakers from across the country are working together to fight the opioid epidemic, including Oregon representative Greg Walden.

During a congressional hearing Wednesday, a bipartisan group of more than 50 lawmakers testified before the Energy and Commerce Committee.

They shared the impact the opioid epidemic is having on their respective states.

Representative Walden says more people died last year from drug overdoses than from car accidents.

During the hearing, he shared stories from Oregonians who have been impacted by opioid addiction. 

"In my district, I've heard the all too familiar tale of a mother whose eldest son was first prescribed opioids after injuring his ankle while playing basketball,"said Walden in his testimony. "It didn't take long for him to become addicted. Another parent shared with me the story of his sister, a nurse, who died of an overdose after years of suffering from addiction and bouncing between pharmacies, passing off forged prescriptions. 

Walden's testimony comes after recent round-tables in Grants Pass and Bend.

He met with local medical professionals, law enforcement officials and families affected by drug addiction to hear about what is being done on the ground to battle the epidemic. 

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