Addressing the Opioid Crisis in Rural America

The opioid epidemic has swept across every inch of the country. We are in the midst of a crisis that has proven to be especially devastating for rural communities like those in Eastern Washington. I often think about Milli from Republic who was only 23 when she died of fentanyl poisoning in 2020. 

Sadly, Milli is not alone. Last year, nearly 100,000 Americans died from a drug overdose. Congress needed to take action to turn the tide on this crisis, and that’s exactly what we did last week when we passed the Rural Opioid Abuse Prevention Act. This important legislation will make sure rural areas have access to the same resources larger cities may have in order to fight back against the opioid epidemic and combat this deadly surge. 

Specifically, this legislation will fill gaps in prevention, treatment, and recovery services for individuals in rural areas with funding for local governments and organizations that serve rural communities heavily impacted by opioid addiction and abuse. 

This bipartisan bill will help the most vulnerable in our rural Eastern Washington communities recover from addiction and provide our first responders with the support they need to save lives. I’m glad my colleagues in both the House and the Senate came together to pass this legislation, and I look forward to President Biden signing it into law. 

CLICK HERE to read the bill.

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