WILMINGTON, DE – U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons (both D-Del.) signed on to a letter to President Donald Trump with 21 other senators calling on the President to support additional funding necessary to combat the opioid epidemic.
The letter, led by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) reads, “We appreciate your formal declaration that the opioid epidemic is a National Public Health Emergency. While this is a positive step forward, more action must be taken in order to craft a timely and effective national strategy that will achieve long term solutions to this crisis. Specifically, we are concerned that your declaration does not yet include any additional funding resources for key programs and initiatives that will help our patients, providers, first responders and researchers who desperately need more assistance.”
The senators continued, “Researchers, providers, patients, first responders, experts and policy makers agree that investing sufficient and timely resources are of paramount importance in order to allow our communities to effectively combat this epidemic. The President’s Commission on Combatting Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis agrees. The final Commission report released this week recommends that your Administration increase access to treatment and recovery programs, as well as expand the capacity for medication-assisted treatment and first responder access to overdose reversal drugs. As such, we encourage your Administration to work closely with Congress to swiftly provide the necessary additional and sustained funding to carry out a multi-faceted approach that supports activities related to research, education, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation.”
Earlier this year, Senator Carper joined law enforcement, first responders, health care industry leaders, addiction treatment representatives and patient advocate groups to discuss the opioid epidemic in Delaware and how a repeal of the Affordable Care Act would undermine the efforts Delaware is making in combating addiction.
Senator Coons has been an outspoken leader in Congress on combating the opioid crisis, having hosted with Sen. Carper former director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Michael Botticelli, last summer for an opioid crisis roundtable, convened a town hall discussion with former Attorney General Loretta Lynch on federal resources to combat law enforcement challenges, and penned a column in the Delaware News Journal to ensure opioid crisis funding remains a federal priority.
The letter to President Trump can be read here.