- Drug overdoses are the leading cause of accidental death in the United States.
- Experts believe the current epidemic of opioid abuse has contributed to an increase in heroin deaths as opioid consumers move towards heroin use.
- In recent years, opioid-related overdoses have begun to decrease while heroin-related overdoses have sharply increased.
- According to the DEA, Mexican based criminal organizations are the principal suppliers of heroin in the United States. Members emphasized a need to stop the flow of heroin across the southern border.
- Primary and secondary prevention programs are in place to decrease the use of potential gateway drugs in youth and others vulnerable to heroin use.
- In 2015, $400 million was appropriated to address the opioid epidemic – an increase of $100 million. To date, none of the money has been spent.
- To highlight the alarming increase in abuse of illegal opioids, such as heroin and fentanyl, as well as controlled prescription opioids such as hydrocodone and oxycodone.
- To examine the strategies of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to address opioid abuse.
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of overdose deaths involving opioids increased 200 percent from 2000 to 2014.
- In 2014, sixty-one percent of drug overdose deaths involved some form of opioid. On average, 78 Americans die daily from overdoses of heroin and painkillers.
- Researchers find prescription opioid abuse serves as a gateway to heroin use, as 80 percent of heroin initiates previously misused prescription drugs.
- Data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse show increasing numbers of high school students and young adults using OxyContin.
Subcommittee Chairman John Mica (R-FL): “Treatment is at the end of the process — they’ve already been addicted. We have got to stop this stuff at our borders.”
Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH): “[Heroin] is certainly a scourge that is affecting everyone. … How can we find resources to provide treatment [to incarcerated addicts]?”
Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI): “Mr. Boticelli, what efforts is the U.S. engaging in to work with governments where heroin is produced to cut off the supply?”
Witnesses and testimonies
|The Honorable Michael Botticelli||Director, Office of National Drug Control Policy||The White House||Document|
|Mr. Lou Milione||Deputy Assistant Administrator for Diversion Control, Drug Enforcement Administration||U.S. Department of Justice||Document|
|Ms. Kana Enomoto||Acting Administrator, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration||U.S. Department of Health Services||Document|
|Leana S. Wen, M.D., MSC., FAAEM||Health Commissioner||Baltimore City Health Deaprtment||Document|
|The Honorable Teresa Jacobs||Mayor of Orange County||Document|