Michigan’s 7th District Congressman Tim Walberg, a member of the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic, released the following statement in response to President Obama signing the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) into law on Friday.
“This comprehensive response will make a dramatic difference for first responders, law enforcement, health care providers, and recovery organizations working on the front lines to fight against the heroin epidemic plaguing our communities. It will provide greater hope and support for those battling addiction and in need of a helping hand and a second chance. I’m encouraged to see this urgently needed legislation signed into law as we continue to find bipartisan solutions to reverse the devastating trends of addiction,” said Congressman Walberg.
CARA passed the House by a 407-5 vote, the Senate by 92-2 vote, and is supported by more than 200 leading advocacy groups, including many in Michigan’s 7th District.
“Lives will be saved with the support from CARA. This bill allows us to change our culture from addiction to living proudly in recovery,” said Shannon Jackson, a board of member of the Jackson Area Recovery Committee.
The Jackson area has had a comprehensive response to the heroin and prescription drug abuse epidemic. Mike Hirst founded Andy’s Angels following the heroin overdose death of his son Andy. Hirst has spearheaded a campaign to educate the community on the dangers of the epidemic and has helped coordinate the community response.
Jackson County Prosecutor Jerry Jarzynka, Sheriff Steve Rand, Jackson Police Chief Matt Heins, Congressman Tim Walberg and Mike Hirst worked together to host quarterly and annual “Drug Summits” over the past three years. These summits bring together law enforcement, medical experts, the legal community, treatment and recovery specialists and recovering addicts in full-day workshops designed to educate the community on the problem and seek solutions.
Various substance abuse professionals in the 7th district have applauded the comprehensive plan signed into law by President Obama.
“Like many of the communities across the United States, Monroe County has suffered from the epidemic of opioid addiction and abuse. The countless lives that have been lost or destroyed due to prescription drugs and heroin is devastating – and unacceptable. As a community in crisis, we are beyond thankful to have such a comprehensive plan supported by our Federal Legislators. In Monroe, we are especially grateful for Congressman Tim Walberg, who has been a community partner and our voice in Washington. This plan provides communities like ours with the critical resources that are needed, and almost equally as important, it provides us with hope,” said April Demers, Administrative Director of the Monroe County Substance Abuse Coalition and United Way of Monroe County.
“On behalf of Lenawee County, we appreciate the effort of Tim Walberg and the other supporters of the Opioid Report. The actions of all in pushing this forward is not only important in our community, but in all areas that are being devastated by this epidemic/disease. This is a first step in helping groups such as HALO Lenawee in continuing our efforts in helping not only the addict, but the entire family who are also equally affected,” said Marv Cox, Founder of HALO Lenawee.