Deaths Due to Alcohol, Drugs and Suicide Have Soared Among Young Adults
Deaths from alcohol, drugs and suicide have soared among young adults ages 18 to 34, according to a new analysis.
Both Republicans and Democrats are focusing more attention on opioid overdose deaths, including those caused by heroin and prescription painkillers, according to The Hill.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, a Republican, and Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts, a Democrat, have asked the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to urge the Surgeon General to issue a report on the problem.
Markey told The Hill the issue “has to be bipartisan,” noting overdose deaths affect both urban and rural areas, as well as people of all socioeconomic levels. “Whether it’s Lexington, Massachusetts or Lexington, Kentucky, this epidemic knows no boundaries,” he said. “Senator McConnell and I believed that our response should know no political boundaries.”
McConnell and Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, a Democrat, introduced a bill in March that directed HHS to develop a plan to address the problem of babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome, a group of problems that occur in newborns who are exposed to addictive opiate drugs while in the mother’s womb.
“This is a bipartisan issue that members of both parties have come together to fight head on,” McConnell said in a statement to The Hill.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee held a series of hearings on the problem, the article notes.
“There’s definitely more interest in it in Congress,” said Kyle Simon, Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Center for Lawful Access and Abuse Deterrence in Washington. “We’re really encouraged by the congressional hearings.”