Everywhere I travel, I meet families directly or indirectly affected by the #opioid crisis. The epidemic does not discriminate by class, color or age. Since 1999, opioid overdose deaths have quadrupled, and opioid prescriptions have increased – enough for every adult in America to have a bottle of pills. In #ChesterfieldCounty, more than 400 people have opioid use disorder, contributing to the spread of Hepatitis C.
I know solving this problem will not be easy. Recent legislation in Virginia to (1) increase access to treatment, (2) to offer harm reduction programs, and (3) to care for mothers with addiction are a step in the right direction.
The reality is many people struggle to seek and afford medical care. Virginia is unable to keep up with stretched resources coupled with a 40% spike in opioid cases.
This is one reason why I propose to opt-in to #Medicaid expansion. It would allow us to cover prevention, initial intervention, treatment and recovery management with federal government funds.