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Public Statements

Securing the International Mail Against Opioids Act of 2018

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. ROSKAM. Mr. Speaker, all of us, everybody we know, has a lot of things that they are dealing with on a daily basis. There are challenges, and there are issues and little minicrises, until somebody gets a phone call that says that their child is in the emergency room with an opioid overdose. Then, all of a sudden, you have one crisis.

That has been happening in my constituency, and I know that has been happening in districts all across the country.

The first time this issue was brought to my attention, it was from a friend of mine. The coroner in DuPage County, Illinois, in my district, Dr. Rich Jorgensen said: Peter, there are kids who are dying of this crisis.

He kept being a voice on this and bringing it to my attention. He and others in my home county, the HOPE Taskforce, have been joining together. I have met with them. They have given me feedback. Similarly, there is another task force, the Substance Abuse Coalition in McHenry County, Illinois, doing similar work.

As I have met with them, they have said that one of the challenges is that this drug, this fentanyl, comes in through the United States Postal Service. When you first hear about this, you are incredulous about it. You say: No, that can't be.

But the more you learn, the more you realize that this is a major problem. In fact, in terms of importing this or this crossing our border, my understanding is that this is at the top of the heap.

To understand the nature, the science, and the medicine behind fentanyl is to mean that it scares the living daylights out of you. This molecule gets in your body, and the power of it is just overwhelming.

So I want to thank Mr. Bishop, and I want to thank Mr. Pascrell for the work that they are doing on a bipartisan basis to bring people together to work through this and to come up with solutions.

Now, this is not the only thing that is going to be happening here. This is in the context of other pieces of legislation. This is in the context of looking at treatment reimbursement, of screening, and of education. But this inbound flow is something that this Congress can do something about. Just in a nutshell, bringing together the United States Postal Service, the CBP, and also the United States State Department to work together in a coordinated fashion is something that my district is really pleased about.

So I am pleased to be here to advocate on its behalf, and I urge its passage.

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