Prescription drug abuse continues to be a serious issue for families and communities across the nation and, as part of their efforts to fight this growing epidemic, U.S. Representatives Mary Bono Mack (CA-45), Hal Rogers (KY-05) and Stephen Lynch (MA-09) are re-establishing the bi-partisan Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse. The goal of the caucus is to raise awareness of abuse and to work toward innovative and effective policy solutions, incorporating treatment, prevention, law enforcement and research.
"Prescription drug abuse is on the rise, threatening the lives of more and more of our young people every day. From 2008 to 2009, the non-medical use of prescription drugs increased by an alarming 12 percent. This is a very disturbing statistic that illustrates how serious and dangerous this is to Americans, especially our children," said Bono Mack. "Far too many Americans have the misconception that prescription drugs are "safer' because they're prescribed by a doctor, but the fact is that prescription drugs, when abused, can be just as addictive and as deadly as street drugs. I am proud to launch this Caucus with Representatives Rogers and Lynch who share my passion and dedication to ending this cycle of abuse that is destroying the lives and futures of too many of our young people."
"For years, my congressional district in Appalachian Kentucky has been ground zero for prescription drug abuse, and I've witnessed first-hand the devastation wrought by this epidemic. As this problem has magnified in scope and intensity, cross-cutting geographical and socio-economic boundaries, policy-makers around the country are recognizing that many of their constituents have also fallen prey to this scourge," stated Rogers. "I believe this caucus is vital to uniting law-makers and other interested parties to ensure that we're employing every resource in our arsenal to combat abuse. State legislation, treatment programs, drug courts, law enforcement, monitoring programs, educational programs -- all these components will play a role in slowing the rising tide, and eventually eliminating abuse altogether. I'm proud to stand with Congresswoman Bono Mack and Congressman Lynch as we work to tackle prescription drug abuse from the bottom-up and the top-down."
"Prescription drug abuse continues to have a devastating effect on communities across the country," Congressman Stephen F. Lynch said. "I look forward to joining my colleagues to continue the work of the Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse in the 112th Congress. Together, we can work towards long-term policy solutions and help the many families who have been impacted by this epidemic."
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), the number of emergency room visits from prescription drug abuse has nearly doubled in America over the last five years. Equally troubling, there has been a staggering 400 percent increase over the past decade in the number of hospital admissions for prescription drug abuse. Clearly, this is a growing and alarming trend which is impacting people of all ages, but it creates special problems for our children and their families.
The Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse has vowed to raise awareness of the problem nationwide and to help develop effective policy solutions.