Email update: Responding to a public health crisis
I sent an email update on Thursday about how you can help do your part to address the prescription drug and opioid abuse epidemic. Join my email updates now so you don't miss any in the future!
We’re in the midst of an alarming public health crisis.
Across the country we’re seeing a sharp spike in deaths from highly addictive painkillers known as opioids. Thousands have lost their lives by abusing these drugs, which often require a prescription.
As a doctor, I’ve seen firsthand how families have been torn apart by this epidemic. Deborah, a mom from Sacramento County, is just one example.
Deborah’s son became addicted to prescription pain medication he found in his family’s medicine cabinet. He began using prescription drugs and later escalated to heroin and methamphetamine. Last year, Deborah shared: “I cannot tell you the suffering my family went through over five years because of prescription drug abuse.”
Thankfully, Deborah’s son is now recovering. But many families aren’t as lucky. According to the Centers for Disease for Control and Prevention, more people died in 2014 from drug overdoses than in any year before. They also report that the majority people who abuse painkillers get them from a friend or family member.
If you can find old or expired drugs in your medicine cabinet, chances are a child, friend, or family member can stumble onto them just as easily. Safely disposing of any unused prescriptions in your medicine cabinet could help save a life.
You can help do your part this Saturday on National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Please click here to find a list of local places where you can drop off unused or expired prescriptions.
We need to make it easier for families to safely dispose of unused or expired prescription drugs. That’s why I introduced the bipartisan DROP Act, which would help increase the number of drop-off locations to safely dispose of these drugs. This would help keep prescription drugs from falling into the wrong hands and prevent addiction.
I’m pleased to share the Senate recently passed a bipartisan bill to also address this issue, which includes a version of my proposal. The Obama Administration has also announced new steps to save lives.
But there’s no question that we still have much more to do. If you have unused or expired prescriptions in your medicine cabinet, please click here to see how you can dispose of them.
It is an honor and privilege to serve you. Please feel free to share any thoughts or concerns you may have with me at any time.
Ami Bera, M.D.
Member of Congress