A Prescription Drug Abuse Caucus was launched last week by Sens. Tim Scott (R-SC) and Joe Manchin (D-WV).
“Prescription drug abuse has devastating effects on thousands of families across our nation,” Scott said. “This is a problem we must tackle from every angle, and I look forward to working with Sen. Manchin and our colleagues in the Senate to find solutions and save lives.”
The caucus' mission statement describes it as "a bipartisan effort to raise awareness about the significant harms of prescription drug abuse. With 46 Americans dying every day from an overdose on prescription opioids, the U.S. Senate must act. The members of this caucus will work together and with stakeholders toward innovative and effective policy solutions that address prevention, treatment and more to help every community overcome this devastating problem."
Studies have shown that as many as 17,000 prescription opioid drugs overdoses result in deaths each year across the United States. With the caucus, Scott and Manchin hope the Senate will make the battle against prescription drug abuse a top priority.
“Our state and our entire nation have truly reached a crisis point, and ignoring the problem is simply unacceptable,” Manchin said. “We have a responsibility – especially to our children – to stop the scourge of prescription drug abuse.
"Far too many Americans have been affected by this growing epidemic, far too many families have been torn apart, and far too many lives have been lost," he said. "We must go after this problem from every angle – family assistance, counseling programs, consumer and medical education, law enforcement support, state and federal legislation – and today, the United States Senate joins the fight in one more capacity. I have made a promise to the people of West Virginia and to the American people that I will do everything I can to beat this epidemic, save hundreds of thousands of lives, and help those recovering return to the lives they once enjoyed, drug-free.”