Sarbanes Sounds Alarm about Rising Opioid Overdoses, Urges Congress to Take Swift Action [Video]

April 14, 2021
CONTACT: Natalie Young | |
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – During a House Health Subcommittee hearing today, Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) highlighted the urgent need to address the alarming rise in opioid overdoses as the country continues to battle COVID-19.

“In Maryland since 2017, we’ve seen over 2,000 opioid-related deaths each year,” said Congressman Sarbanes, Vice Chair of House Health Subcommittee. “The numbers have gotten worse – as we’ve been discussing today – during the coronavirus pandemic. In the first three-quarters of 2020, there were more opioid-related deaths in Maryland than in the same time period in prior years. So, we’re seeing that acceleration.”

Sarbanes, who has worked tirelessly in Congress to address the opioid crisis for many years, continued: “Workforce issues are a very important part of the conversation, in terms of reversing this opioid epidemic. And the package back in 2018 included a bill I worked on – The Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Act, which would help increase the number of health care professionals working in addiction treatment and substance use disorder programs. It would provide loan repayments to individuals who provide direct patient care at opioid treatment programs in high-need areas.”

See below for a video of the Congressman’s remarks.