Quigley, Schneider Meet with Community Leaders to Discuss Opioid Crisis
CHICAGO - U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), a member of the House Appropriations Committee, joined Congressmen Brad Schneider (IL-10) in a roundtable discussion at the Gateway Foundation treatment center with patients, doctors, advocates and other community leaders to discuss efforts to address the epidemic of opioid addiction afflicting Illinois and the country.
“The growing opioid crisis hits far too close to home, and we must take immediate action to address the epidemic running rampant in our own backyard,” said Quigley. “I want to thank all of those who participated in today’s discussion for offering critical insight into the challenges and strategies at hand, as well as my friend Rep. Schneider for introducing this vital legislation to provide our health care professionals with the tools and resources they need to deepen their understanding of opioid addiction, curb availability, and help save lives.”
Reps. Quigley and Schneider listened to stories from individuals and family members who have personally felt the toll of opioid abuse, as well as the perspectives of the medical community and local government leaders attempting to respond to the crisis. They also discussed the importance of the Opioid PACE (Preventing Addiction through Continuing Education) Act, legislation introduced by Rep. Schneider, to prevent overprescribing and better equip doctors to identify and treat abuse by requiring continuing education for medical professionals that prescribe opioids for pain management.
“The moving personal stories from today’s roundtable highlight that we must treat opioid addiction like the disease that it is,” said Schneider. “Medical professionals are on the frontlines against misuse, and the Opioid PACE Act will ensure our doctors are informed on the most up-to-date best practices to help our communities fighting back against this epidemic.”
Quigley and Schneider also spoke out forcefully against the Republican “repeal and replace” health care bill, which recently passed the House. The American Health Care Act would roll-back the Medicaid expansion and allow states to opt out of requirements that insurance companies cover mental health and substance abuse treatment.