Opioid Crisis


Rhode Island, like much of the country, is suffering a devastating overdose crisis that is causing unbelievable pain for so many families. Over the past few years, hundreds of families have lost loved ones to drug overdose. Addiction has struck every community in Rhode Island – urban and rural; young and old; rich, poor, and middle class. The disease of addiction does not discriminate.

Many factors have combined to create and fuel this tragedy. And the only way we will be able to reverse this crisis is through a strategy that is as broad as the factors driving the addiction and overdose epidemic.

David is actively engaged and pressing for the necessary actions in Washington that will make a difference back here in Rhode Island. He cosponsored the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, which was signed into law and is transforming the way we prevent, treat, and provide recovery services to individuals and families in need. David has also backed a successful supplemental appropriation to provide additional resources from the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services to help local communities act now. And, he led the successful effort in the House to provide a $3 million boost for Rhode Island’s State Opioid Response Funding and an increase in funding to ensure more first responders have access to Naloxone, a rapid overdose reversal medication.

David has also led efforts to protect youth by tightening the controls on a new threat, so-called synthetic drugs that often mimic their traditional predecessors but with greater risks. He has worked to ensure that our nation’s drug control laws are keeping up with what we are seeing on our streets.

Recognizing the overdose crisis has hit the northeast particularly hard, David has worked to unite the New England delegation around a common agenda to respond aggressively.  

Because the pathway to addiction often starts with a prescription, David is leading the effort to support innovative pain treatment and management programs that do not rely on opiates, and encouraging doctors to change prescribing habits. 


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